Diamond – The Ultimate Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Material for Power Electronics
Researchers of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies and Michigan State University were awarded an ARPA-E grant in the field of diamond electronics. The project is to develop a diamond-based diode operating at a breakdown voltage of 1200 V and a forward current of 100 A. The field of diamond synthesis and applications is undergoing a spectacular period of transformation as the ability to deposit high-quality monocrystalline diamond materials advances. Diamond is a unique material with multiple superlative properties, including unmatched thermal conductivity, high charge carrier mobilities, and high electric field breakdown strength. The exceptional semiconductor properties of diamond have enormous potential for high-power electronics technology with applications in transportation, manufacturing, and energy sectors. For a number of power electronics applications, the achievable possibilities with diamond substantially exceed those of other wide bandgap semiconductor materials. The project benefits from the capabilities and expertise gained through the collaborative efforts of Fraunhofer USA CCD and MSU on diamond material synthesis and fabrication over the last twelve years.
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