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2 August 2006


First GaN-on-diamond transistor announced by Emcore, Group4 Labs, and AFRL

A team including component and subsystem manufacturer Emcore Corp of Somerset, NJ, USA, Group4 Labs LLC of Menlo Park, CA, USA and engineers at the US Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) have demonstrated what is claimed to be the first successful fabrication of an operational gallium nitride-on-diamond high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) device.

AlGaN/GaN epitaxial transistor layers were grown by MOCVD at Emcore and atomically attached to CVD diamond substrate by Group4 Labs, which was founded in April 2003. The AFRL team fabricated the transistors. The achievement highlights the feasibility of producing GaN-based RF devices closely thermally coupled to diamond substrates to maximize heat extraction from these devices, says Emcore.

The team expects the technology to improve power density and efficiency of devices operating at high frequencies due to higher packing density and better heat dissipation in the immediate vicinity of the active device area.

The novel process has a wide-range of possible applications, including high-performance GaN-based RF devices, high-brightness LEDs and laser diodes.

"We are excited by the promise of this technology combining the most robust semiconductor material with the best heat spreader," commented Dr Ivan Eliashevich, director of R&D at Emcore's EMD epiwafer foundry division, which is in the process of being acquired by epi foundry IQE. "Epitaxial wafers based on a GaN-on-diamond platform should enable device manufacturers to push the limits of high-power performance and reliability across a wide range of applications," Eliashevich added.

* The work was supported in part by a DARPA-funded Cooperative Agreement between Emcore and AFRL.

See related news item

Visit Emcore: http://www.emcore.com

Visit Group4 Labs: http://www.Group4Labs.com

Visit AFRL: http://www.afrl.af.mil