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High Frequency Diamond Transistor Announced by Element Six

ASCOT, England, Feb. 18 /CNW/ - 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

For further information: Christopher Ogilvie Thompson, Commercial
Development Manager, Element Six, King's Ride Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BP
UK, Tel. +44-1344-638-229, info@e6.com

 

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