Diamond films no longer in the rough with AKHAN Technologies launch


AKHAN Technologies has developed a shallow n-type diamond material over silicon that has characteristics such as a shallow ionization energy (250meV), high carrier mobility (>1000cm2/Vs in nanocrystalline diamond thin films), and no graphitic phases. The latter is important because graphitic films translate to low mobility (due to scattering sites). The material also provides for a 900A/mm2 current density at +2V forward bias in low-voltage, high-current diode device applications.

The bottleneck in development of diamond films has always been the fabrication of n-type diamond "because all previous demonstrations have featured either deep-level dopants where the ionization energy is at or greater than ~500meV, or have graphitic defects with ultralow mobility," explained AKHAN president Adam Khan. The new shallow n-type diamond with ionization of around 250meV, he said, "translates to a higher concentration of electrons that can contribute to conduction at room temperature."

According to the company, microchips fabricated from its Miraj Diamond platform can run electronics at higher speeds???1841cm2/Vs compared to <1400cm2/Vs for electron mobility, and 1000cm2/Vs vs. <450cm2/Vs for hole mobility???with increased power handling capability (75W/mm demonstrated [DC] in low field), without overheating (600??C vs. 150??C maximum operating junction temperature). The company says that its new film has benefits (e.g., reduced losses, increased efficiency, reduced size and volume) for devices used in thinner/cheaper computers, longer-lasting cell phone batteries, and TV screens, among others.

Figure 1: (Left) A fully processed Miraj diamond wafer. (Right) Close-up view. (Source: AKAHN Technologies)

The company has been working on its process libraries for the last seven years, resolving issues such as cost, ease of processing, scalability, and integration. It has also been in discussions with several large consortia. "We've secured everything around this material required to commercialize it for microchip use, and now we're ready to show the global industry how it can make use of it today, and not five years from now," explained Khan. The company has been able to demonstrate use of its diamond films in UVLEDs, as well as in power and RF devices. "This use allows a high power element like an LED to be integrated onto the same material as its power element, dramatically increasing its efficiency," he said.

No special or advanced industry tooling is required, and the process is not restricted to any single diamond grain size or type (CVD polycrystalline, nanocrystalline, single crystal, etc.). With commercially available diamond films from both domestic and international sources, the processed material cost of diamond becomes cheaper than processed silicon???nearly 17,000?? less material is required by volume compared to silicon for identical device functionality, according to the company. ??? D.V.

Solid State Technology, Volume 55, Issue 1, January 2012

More Solid State Technology Current Issue Articles

More Solid State Technology Archives Issue Articles