Element Six’s GaN-on-diamond wafers proven to provide three times improvement in power density in RF devices

Element Six today announced that its Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Diamond wafers have been proven by Raytheon Company to significantly outperform industry standard Gallium Nitride-on-Silicon Carbide (GaN-on-SiC) in RF devices—reducing thermal resistance, increasing RF power density, and preserving RF functionality.

In high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) devices, Raytheon achieved a three times improvement in GaN-on-Diamond’s RF areal power density, compared to GaN-on-SiC devices. The GaN-on-Diamond devices also demonstrated a nearly three times reduction in thermal resistance. Raytheon used several industry standard thermal measurement techniques, including time-domain thermal reflectance (TDTR), laser flash, and resistance thermometry, as well as finite-element modeling, to establish the consistency of these results.

Upon reaching these milestones, Raytheon has met the aggressive objectives of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) program, which aimed to develop GaN RF devices that exhibit three times or greater improvement in power density through improved thermal management.

“Heat issues account for more than 50 percent of all electronic failures, and limit GaN’s inherent power-density performance potential,” said Adrian Wilson, director of Element Six Technologies Group. “RF and high-voltage power device manufacturers that leverage GaN-on-Diamond will have access to unmatched wafer thermal conductivity, and be able to deliver rapid, efficient and cost-effective heat extraction. As the first company to make GaN-on-Diamond wafers commercially available, we look forward to collaborating with manufacturers to tap into the unique properties of synthetic diamond.”

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