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 experiments.
SOURCE Element Six Ltd