At SEMICON West 2013, Element Six <> , the world leader in synthetic diamond supermaterials and member of the De Beers Group of Companies, announced it has expanded its global manufacturing capabilities of microwave chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthetic diamond by 60 percent compared to last year. Driven by growth in the company’s semiconductor and optical business segments, Element Six has effectively ramped production capacity to meet emerging demand for thermal management solutions including gallium nitride (GaN)-on-diamond substrates and high-power resistant optical windows for Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems.

“Our bookings have seen a 30 percent increase in compound annual growth over the last two years, and we attribute the majority of our expansion to new applications in the semiconductor market,” said Adrian Wilson, head of the technologies division at Element Six. “We are seeing more interest from packaging designers and manufacturers as the industry comes to recognize the numerous properties and benefits of synthetic diamond, which offer our customers a distinct competitive advantage to further differentiate and strengthen their solutions for a greater return on investment.”

Element Six has expanded its high-volume manufacturing capabilities across its facilities in Silicon Valley, California, and Ascot, United Kingdom—the latter already serving as the world’s largest CVD diamond manufacturing site. The three key areas of production supported at the built-out sites include:

  • CVD diamond thermal material—delivering thermal conductivity between 1000 to 2000 W/mK, synthetic diamond is integrated into semiconductor modules to serve as an effective heat spreader—driving to more than a 20 degree temperature decrease to quadruple a device’s lifetime.
  • Synthetic diamond optical windows—an enabler for Laser Produced Plasma (LPP) EUV lithography system, Element Six’s large CVD synthetic diamond optical windows (71-80mm in diameter) withstand the power levels necessary to produce EUV light—reducing system downtime and improving wafer throughput.
  • GaN-on-diamond wafers—one of the world’s most thermally conductive materials, GaN on free standing polycrystalline CVD diamond is up to five times more conductive than copper at room temperature—enabling rapid, efficient and cost-effective heat extraction that lowers operating temperature and overall system level costs, and increases the power of RF devices. GaN-on-diamond technology earned a Compound Semiconductor Industry Award <>  for its ability to achieve up to a three-fold improvement in heat dissipation, while preserving RF functionality.

To further consolidate and strengthen the company’s innovation capabilities, Element Six also opened its new, state-of-the-art Global Innovation Centre (GIC), based in Harwell, near Oxford, this month. Building on Element Six’s 50 years of R&D heritage, the GIC will enable the company to rapidly design, manufacture and test market-ready solutions in one location.