IEEE Electronics360- May 31, 2018
Diamond-based semiconductors have marked performance advantages over silicon and compound semiconductors. The issuance of key TIPO patents and US Trademarks for AKHAN’s Miraj Diamond® technology signals more products with diamond chips will be showing up soon. The TIPO patents are important because Taiwan has become a major center for semiconductor and electronic manufacturing.
The new Miraj diamond technology is now poised to become the key enabler for advancements on complex devices such as high speed/power transistors (e.g., high-frequency field-effect transistors (FETs)), RF and microwave electronics, high-power switches, MEMS and higher efficiency passive devices. Akhan fabricated 100 GHz diamond demonstration chips over two years ago. These faster, thinner and cooler devices will result in faster supercomputers, advanced radar and telecommunications, hyper-efficient hybrid vehicles, robust electronics for extreme environments, and next-generation avionics instruments. Diamond MEMS devices can be specifically designed for the capacitive switching arrays to provide better dynamic tuning of high-end smartphone antennas. “The timing for our diamond-based semiconductor technology’s market debut could not be better,” said AKHAN CEO Adam Khan. “By using man-made diamonds at the core of our new chip technology, we are ushering in a new generation of semiconductor solutions that operate at higher temperatures, are thinner and require less power. These are exactly the attributes required for all the products that make up the Internet of Things.” While current silicon technology has been reaching its limits due to interconnection and crosstalk problems, Khan believes diamond technology will extend Moore’s law.
The AKHAN diamond process converts methane gas into the nanocrystalline Miraj diamond material using a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) or plasma ball reactor. Their process is more environmentally friendly compared to silicon technology because it consumes 20% less water and could convert waste methane gas into a semiconductor. Akhan’s proprietary doping technology, which reportedly is more effective than nitrogen doping, should even enable the development of quantum computer chips.
Akhan is also commercializing “Miraj diamond glass” sheets for smartphone and VR display applications, Miraj diamond glass should be six times stronger and ten times harder than chemically hardened aluminosilicate glass (e.g. Corning Gorilla Glass or Schott BK-7, fused silica, and sapphire.
The company’s comprehensive Miraj Diamond Electronics platform enables fabrication of complex active (FETs, switches) and passive (Schottky diodes) microelectronics devices. Diamond’s dielectric strength is several orders of magnitude higher than silicon (1 x 107 diamond vs. 3 x 105 silicon), which allows thinning of devices. Fabricated devices using Miraj Diamond® technology perform at higher speeds and efficiencies while being more than 1,000 times thinner than other advanced diamond and silicon technologies.