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World Leader in Synthetic Diamond Supermaterials Spurs Advancements in Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Optics and Thermal Management Applications
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Feb. 16, 2016—Element Six, the world leader in synthetic diamond supermaterials and member of The De Beers Group of Companies, today announced that its CVD diamond business experienced its fifth consecutive year of substantial growth. The company attributes its progress to continued product development and innovation, customer adoption, and its esteemed academic partnerships that have contributed to groundbreaking developments in high-power lasers and quantum science and technology. In 2016, Element Six will build upon its positive results and leverage synthetic diamond—with its extraordinary properties—as a material for novel applications, and in the industrial wastewater treatment, semiconductor and optics fields.
“Backed by the momentum of 2014’s breakout year of growth, Element Six has closed 2015 in similar fashion, with successes in product adoption as well as strategic partnerships enabling significant technology breakthroughs,” commented Steve Coe, executive director, commercial and marketing at Element Six. “The growth and innovation that we achieved this year is a testament to the unrivaled research and development that Element Six invests in meeting the technical and physical challenges of the optics, semiconductor, and wastewater markets—areas we expect to be worth in excess of $100 million by 2020. 2016 has begun with vigor, and we look forward to introducing new products that are set to tackle the unique challenges our customers face.”
Synthetic Diamond Innovation
In 2015, Element Six pushed diamond synthesis and processing capabilities to new heights to enable the next generation of high-power laser systems and advanced applications, including EUV lithography. Drawing inspiration from the anti-reflective structure of a moth’s eye, the company introduced Diamond PureOptics™, a new diamond optics range that delivers improved reliability and even higher power density levels for high power CO2 laser systems. In 2016, Element Six will expand on this solution and will develop Diamond PureOpitcs™ solutions for a range of wave lengths.
Another significant product innovation was in Element Six’s chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamond heat spreaders. Previously proven to significantly reduce channel temperature and thermal resistance, it was demonstrated that metallizations are an important aspect of CVD diamond package integration in order to achieve optimal results. In a study with the Centre for Device Thermography and Reliability at Bristol University, a chromium/gold metallization configuration showed substantially lower thermal barrier resistance than established solutions such as a titanium/platinum/gold configuration. With this lower thermal resistivity development, devices can be packaged smaller, with higher power densities and significantly increased lifetimes.
Element Six’s boron doped diamond (BDD) has proved to be the ideal electrode material to electrochemically convert toxic organic pollutants to inert gases so that clean water can be safely discharged into the environment. In a successful pilot project with a large wastewater treatment company, tremendous results were achieved in the use of BDD electrodes. In one of the customers’ many refinery wastewater treatment studies, sulfur compounds were reduced to non-detectable concentrations and the chemical oxygen demand of the wastewater was reduced by more than 95 percent.
Following a positive history of wastewater treatment results, in 2016 Element Six will be optimizing a reactor with more electrodes for efficient treatment of wastewater in the downstream petrochemical industries. Additionally, the company is developing a low temperature and reduced detergent consumption commercial laundry system in partnership with one of the leading laundry equipment manufacturers, which will reduce machine energy and chemical use.
In another significant milestone, Element Six completed its first shipment of the company’s 4-inch GaN-on-Diamond wafer—the first technology of its kind to be commercially available and has been proven by the Raytheon Company to significantly outperform the industry standard, GaN-on-SiC wafers in RF devices. The study showed that GaN-on-Diamond substrates dissipate heat more than three times more effectively than silicon carbide, earning the wafers the Semiconductor Material of the Year Award by Electronic Device Industry News.
2015 saw the introduction of several academic partnerships that further positioned synthetic diamond as the catalyst material for landmark developments in high-power lasers and quantum computing. Researchers at MQ Photonics Research Centre leveraged Element Six’s low-absorption single-crystal CVD diamond in the demonstration of a diamond laser 20 times more powerful than previous systems. The diamond’s extraordinary properties played a critical role in the laser’s ability to deliver up to 380 Watts of output power—enough power to cut through steel.
In another partnership, Delft University of Technology researchers used specially engineered Element Six diamonds to successfully complete the first loophole-free Bell test of quantum entanglement. Element Six’s ability to engineer a single atom-like defect in the diamond lattice contributed to a major leap forward for quantum science and definitively proved for the first time the principle of quantum entanglement, a breakthrough promising to revolutionize information technologies.
Leveraging Element Six’s low-absorption single-crystal diamond that enables Raman frequency shifting for high-power laser systems, engineers at University of Strathclyde were able to access new wavelengths with excellent beam quality in the visible and mid-IR spectrum. These new proven capabilities hold great promise for advanced laser applications in the medical field.