Diamond deal boost for SiC devices

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

II‐VI has licensed single crystal diamond technology from Element Six in the UK to boost the performance of its power and RF devices.

The deal is a strategic collaboration covers both the process technology and the licensing of the key manufacturing equipment to produce high-quality single-crystal diamond.

This will enable diamond layers to be added to power and RF devices as a heatsink, for example by growing a single crystal layer to the back of a silicon carbide wafer. This can dramatically boost the performance of power devices by improving the thermal interface to the SiC.

Element Six is a subsidiary of diamond miner and processor De Beers and has been working on artificial diamond for over 70 years, says Dr Daniel Twitchen, Chief Technologist at Element Six which is based in Oxford, UK.

II-VI has extended its licensing deal with GE for SiC technology and last year bought European SiC wafer supplier Ascatron to secure supplies of wafers.

“Element Six has invested hundreds of millions of dollars for over 70 years to become a world leader in single-crystal diamond engineering and growth. Its unique capabilities complement II-VI’s proprietary polycrystalline diamond, a material we already manufacture at scale,” said Steve Rummel, Sr. Vice President, Engineered Materials and Laser Optics Business Unit, II-VI Incorporated. “This exciting collaboration is consistent with II-VI’s innovation strategy of making early investments in technology platforms that are process- and capital-intensive, and that require time to evolve, mature, and scale, so we can enable our customers’ technology roadmaps.”

“With its diverse global manufacturing footprint, growth markets expertise, and a successful vertically integrated structure, II-VI is one of the largest listed photonics and compound semiconductor companies. These elements make it an ideal partner to accelerate the market adoption of this remarkable material,” said Twitchen. “Besides future opportunities for electronics, there is also a wide range of near-term applications driving the demand for accessible high-quality single-crystal diamond, including high-power optics, high-durability parts, and high-performance thermal-management systems. We look forward to enabling these and many new markets through this strategic collaboration with II-VI.”

II-VI has its own proprietary polycrystalline diamond platform, and Element Six will work with II-VI to integrate the single crystal diamond technology into the II-VI production process. This will initially use the Element Six equipment and the company assist II-VI in building its own systems, says Twitchen.;

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