3 February 2022
II-VI licenses single-crystal diamond technology from Element Six
Engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA and synthetic diamond materials firm Element Six of Oxford, UK (E6, part of the De Beers Group) have announced a strategic collaboration that will expand II-VI’s diamond platform, accelerating the development of new applications by licensing Element Six’s single-crystal diamond technology.
Since size, weight and power consumption are strategic value drivers, the unique characteristics of diamond materials offer what are reckoned to be breakthrough solutions for designers of future generations of products. Applications of advanced power and RF electronics, including for 6G wireless components, as well as other emerging applications in life sciences, sensing, thermal management and quantum computing, are expected to drive the adoption of single-crystal diamond, a material extremely challenging to manufacture but well known for its outstanding optical, mechanical, thermal and electrical properties.
Through the collaboration, II-VI is licensing from Element Six its intellectual property and equipment necessary to produce high-quality single-crystal diamond, thus expanding its core competency in diamond technology ahead of anticipated market opportunities.
“Element Six has invested hundreds of millions of dollars for over 70 years to become a world leader in single-crystal diamond engineering and growth. Its unique capabilities complement II-VI’s proprietary polycrystalline diamond, a material we already manufacture at scale,” comments Steve Rummel, senior VP, Engineered Materials and Laser Optics business unit, II-VI Inc. “This exciting collaboration is consistent with II-VI’s innovation strategy of making early investments in technology platforms that are process- and capital-intensive, and that require time to evolve, mature and scale, so we can enable our customers’ technology roadmaps,” he adds.
“With its diverse global manufacturing footprint, growth markets expertise and a successful vertically integrated structure, II-VI is one of the largest listed photonics and compound semiconductor companies,” comments Element Six’s chief technologist Dr Daniel Twitchen. “These elements make it an ideal partner to accelerate the market adoption of this remarkable material,” he reckons. “Besides future opportunities for electronics, there is also a wide range of near-term applications driving the demand for accessible high-quality single-crystal diamond, including high-power optics, high-durability parts and high-performance thermal-management systems. We look forward to enabling these and many new markets through this strategic collaboration with II-VI.”