Great Lakes Crystal Technologies (GLCT), which recently spun out of the world-class diamond materials and device collaboration between Michigan State University (MSU) and MSU-located Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Diamond Technologies (CCD), has a mission to become the leading supplier of high performance diamond for advanced (non-gemstone) applications.
Compared to Si, GaAs, 6H- & 4H-SiC, and GaN, diamond has the highest electronic figures of merit (FOMs) including Baliga’s DC and high frequency FOMs, Johnson’s FOM, and Keye’s FOM. This is because of diamond’s very high critical field, bandgap, high carrier mobility, and for Keye’s FOM its very high thermal conductivity. Additionally, diamond is the best of these materials in terms of the number and types of defects generated during heavy ion bombardment and its ability to maintain good crystalline structure for high power electronics performance.
In the proposed effort GLCT is partnered with MSU and CCD who previously under ARPA-E SWITCHES support demonstrated high performance diamond diodes and transistors. This project seeks to extend that work and optimize the devices for high radiation tolerance.
To our understanding most if not all of NASA’s directives for space exploration and habitation require high-performance, high-voltage transistors and diodes capable of operating without damage in the natural space radiation environment. This includes applications to Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) Distribution and Transmission and to Remote Sensing Instruments and Sensors).
High-voltage, high-Power Diamond Electronics have potential applications in all industries seeking improved efficiency, switching speeds, current densities, and form factors, whether radiation hard is important or not. Commercial applications include electric transportation (automotive, locomotive, elevators, etc.), HVDC based electric grids, and variable speed drives to control induction motors.