Diamond can replace silicon for computer chips for faster, lighter and simpler devices

Diamond can run 5 times hotter than Silicon without degrading in performance and is more easily cooled (with 22 times the heat transfer efficiency of silicon), can tolerate higher voltages before breaking down, and electrons (and electron-holes) can move faster through them. Already, semiconductor devices with diamond material are available that deliver one million times more electrical current than silicon or previous attempts using diamond.

Diamond-based semiconductors are capable of increasing power density as well as create faster, lighter, and simpler devices.

Akhan Semi, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, has developed a series of advancements that allows us to manufacture standalone diamond materials, deposit diamond directly on processed silicon, fabricate complete diamond semiconductor devices, as well as attach diamond material to other electronics materials.

Diamond wafer technology is producing thinner and cheaper devices already in use in information technology, the military and aerospace applications. In addition, diamond semiconductor will have a major impact on the consumer electronics, telecommunications and health industries, among many others, starting as early as 2015.

Thin diamond film materials are able to alter the electronic properties and form device structures that are over a thousand times thinner than the leading silicon counterpart in addition to the previous state-of-the-art in diamond but with also increased performance, allowing the trend of smaller, faster, and more functional to continue.

The Miraj Diamondâ„¢ platform resulted from the marriage of two scientific breakthroughs: the ability to deposit nanocrystalline diamond films at relatively low temperatures and a doping process that makes NCD into a good semiconducting materia

Akhan Technologies are described at their website

Practical Bipolar devices fabricated for the first time on Low cost Nanocrystalline Diamond (NCD) and polycrystalline diamond (Diamond-on-Silicon and Diamond-on-Insulator) wafers. Increased processing efficiency has rendered ultra-smooth, high yield, high uniformity film-quality.High precision (small feature size) architecture, allowing submicron (nm) control and microelectronic device fabrication, coupled with unrivaled material characteristics, allow for diamond to dramatically impact the global semiconductor market with:

-Faster devices (no degraded performance under high heat or high power drive conditions with ultra-high electron mobility)
* Lower material cost (30x to 1000x thinner material required to accomplish the same device function)
* Lower system level cost (no added heat sinking needed, slower system temperature rise, less cooling equipment required)
* Unbridled efficiency (highest power handling capability, power switching capability, switching speed, lowest On-state resistance, and ultimate high frequency capability)
* Extreme Environment Capability (High Heat, High Power, High Pressure, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, etc.)
* Superior Scalability (nm to mm device feature size capability on 100, 200, and 300 mm commercial wafers)

SOURCE – Wired, Akhan Semiconductor

About The Author