High Frequency Diamond Transistor Announced by Element Six

Feb 18, 2005, 00:00 ET from Element Six Ltd

    ASCOT, England, February 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Element Six (E6) announces
 that in collaboration with the University of Ulm in Germany it has produced
 preliminary microwave devices (MESFET transistors) using synthetic single
 crystal diamond made by chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Diamond, with its
 extreme physical properties, is now entering the world of high frequency
 electronics, making real the possibility of replacing high-power vacuum tube
 devices with solid-state diamond components. The intrinsic theoretical
 performance of diamond, coupled with this latest device, suggest that diamond
 could capture the entire rf device market for frequencies between 10 and 100
 GHz, with devices capable of producing over 100 Watts at X-band frequencies.
     The rf power handling capability of solid-state devices using current
 semiconducting materials, such as silicon and gallium arsenide is limited by
 the properties of the materials. High power devices, as required for a range
 of advanced applications including satellite communications, telecoms base
 stations and compact, high resolution phased-array radars, need materials
 such as GaN, SiC and diamond. Here diamond has by far the best material
 characteristics. E6 has now demonstrated that there is an opportunity for
 diamond technology to "leap-frog" over GaN and SiC solid-state devices by
 fabricating high performance single crystal CVD diamond transistors.
     Element Six's Research Manager, Steve Coe, said "Development of these
 devices has presented huge technical challenges. The growth of diamond of the
 highest crystalline quality has had to be combined with the application of
 nano-technology to precisely deposit electronic structures only a few atomic
 layers thick. It is only by mastering this demanding technology that we have
 been able to release the huge potential of diamond as an electronic material"
     Element Six's Managing Director, Christian Hultner, said, "Making this
 MESFET is exciting proof that the dawn of diamond electronics has arrived and
 that our considerable investment in this area is paying dividends. We are
 convinced this will result in significant new advanced electronic products,
 of which the MESFET is only the first. We believe that this product will
 stimulate awareness of diamond as a new engineering material and we are
 committed to making this the first of many new electronic products."
     About Element Six
     Element Six is the world leader in the production of all forms of
 synthetic diamond for industrial use. Element Six has pioneered the
 development of CVD diamond technology since the 1980s, with a world-renowned
 research centre at Ascot dedicated to this activity. CVD diamond opens up
 many new application areas outside the traditional abrasive uses of synthetic
 diamond. Uses of CVD diamond include laser exit windows, cutting tools,
 surgical blades, windows for high-power gyrotrons, heat-spreaders for
 electronic devices as well as active electronic devices.
     The University of Ulm
     The Engineering Faculty of Ulm and its Microelectronics Technology Center
 was established in 1989 with one of the focal points being research and
 development of advanced high speed devices and materials for electronic and
 photonic applications based on GaAs, InP, SiGe, GaN and diamond. Research in
 the Dept. of Electron Devices and Circuits on diamond devices has started as
 early as 1990 and has lead to many new device concepts including the
 demonstration of world record device performances in proof of concept

SOURCE Element Six Ltd