News & Analysis

Synthetic diamond for high-powered electronics

11th June 2024
Paige West

Element Six (E6) and Orbray announced a strategic collaboration to deliver the world’s highest quality wafer-scale single crystal (SC) synthetic diamond.

Future industrial applications in telecommunications, defence, and artificial intelligence (AI) will demand unprecedented power and energy efficiency. Enabling these technologies to reach their full potential requires novel material solutions. Synthetic diamond, with its exceptional properties such as high breakdown field and high thermal conductivity, is poised to become the go-to material platform for the next technological era. However, unlocking these opportunities requires a reliable supply of wafer-scale SC diamond.

Element Six was the first company to build and develop a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) platform capable of large-area, uniform polycrystalline diamond growth up to 150mm in diameter. It later pioneered electronic-grade SC diamond development and production, commercialising its first SC product range in the 2000s. Recently, E6 opened a CVD facility in Gresham, Oregon, enabling sustainable, scale production of high-quality SC synthetic diamond products.

In parallel, Orbray pioneered a unique heteroepitaxial process to grow SC diamond on cost-efficient sapphire substrates, achieving SC deposition up to 55mm in diameter.

This partnership will combine Orbray’s innovative approach to scaling SC CVD diamond with E6’s proven large-area deposition system and expertise in producing high-purity SC diamond. Together, they aim to deliver a reliable supply of high-quality, wafer-scale, single crystal diamond for applications including 6G wireless components, advanced power and RF electronics, sensing, thermal management, and quantum devices.

Through this strategic collaboration, Orbray and Element Six will work together to produce wafer-scale high-quality SC diamond, expanding their core competencies in diamond technology in anticipation of future industrial opportunities.

Element Six’s patented technology and expertise in high-quality SC CVD diamond and large-area synthesis technology is already being utilised in atomic particle detection and explored for novel applications such as RF transistors, quantum sensing, and quantum-secure communication. Orbray’s innovative heteroepitaxial sapphire substrate approach is advancing the R&D of larger SC wafer-scale diamond substrates and the production of heteroepitaxial SC CVD diamond for new industrial applications. By combining these unique capabilities, the partnership between Element Six and Orbray is set to deliver SC diamond wafer technology at sizes and quality levels beyond current possibilities.

“Through its world-leading range of disruptive single-crystal, diamond-enabled solutions, Element Six has already accelerated key advances in a wide range of novel applications, enabling significant milestones such as the identification of Higg’s boson and the advancement of optics technology for metrology in the pharmaceutical industry.”

Siobhán Duffy, CEO at Element Six, said: “Both Element Six and Orbray have many distinctive traits in common: a heritage of excellence and trust, spanning over eight decades, as well as a drive for innovation and a desire to push the boundaries of technology to achieve ever-better solutions that can benefit the world.

“This strategic collaboration will allow us to combine our respective core competencies towards the development of a world’s first: the highest quality wafer-scale single crystal synthetic diamond.”     

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