Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Diamond-based materials brighten the future of electronics

Date:
March 13, 2012
Source:
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Summary:
Researchers have found a way to combine ultrananocrystalline diamond with graphene and gallium nitride, greatly improving the thermal properties of the material and helping to overcome theoretical limitations on semiconducting circuits.

While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, they’re also well-loved by men and women working to enhance the performance of electronic devices. Two new studies performed at Argonne have revealed a new pathway for materials scientists to use previously unexplored properties of nanocrystalline-diamond thin films.
Credit: Sebastian Duda / Fotolia

While diamonds may be a girl's best friend, they're also well-loved by scientists working to enhance the performance of electronic devices.

Two new studies performed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have revealed a new pathway for materials scientists to use previously unexplored properties of nanocrystalline-diamond thin films. While the properties of diamond thin films are relatively well-understood, the new discovery could dramatically improve the performance of certain types of integrated circuits by reducing their "thermal budget."

For decades, engineers have sought to build more efficient electronic devices by reducing the size of their components. In the process of doing so, however, researchers have reached a "thermal bottleneck," said Argonne nanoscientist Anirudha Sumant.

In a thermal bottleneck, the excess heat generated in the device causes undesirable effects that affect its performance. "Unless we come-up with innovative ways to suck the heat off of our electronics, we are pretty much stuck with this bottleneck," Sumant explained.

The unusually attractive thermal properties of diamond thin films have led scientists to suggest using this material as a heat sink that could be integrated with a number of different semiconducting materials. However, the deposition temperatures for the diamond films typically exceed 800 degrees Celsius -- roughly 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, which limits the feasibility of this approach.

"The name of the game is to produce diamond films at the lowest possible temperature. If I can grow the films at 400 degrees, it makes it possible for me to integrate this material with a whole range of other semiconductor materials," Sumant said.

By using a new technique that altered the deposition process of the diamond films, Sumant and his colleagues at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials were able to both reduce the temperature to close to 400 degrees Celsius and to tune the thermal properties of the diamond films by controlling their grain size. This permitted the eventual combination of the diamond with two other important materials: graphene and gallium nitride.

According to Sumant, diamond has much better heat conduction properties than silicon or silicon oxide, which were traditionally used for fabrication of graphene devices. As a result of better heat removal, graphene devices fabricated on diamond can sustain much higher current densities.

In the other study, Sumant used the same technology to combine diamond thin films with gallium nitride, which is used extensively in high-power light emitting devices (LED). After depositing a 300 nm-thick diamond film on a gallium nitride substrate, Sumant and his colleagues noticed a considerable improvement in the thermal performance. Because a difference within an integrated circuit of just a few degrees can cause a noticeable change in performance, he called this result "remarkable."

"The common link between these experiments is that we're finding new ways of dissipating heat more effectively while using less energy, which is the key," Sumant said. "These processes are crucial for industry as they look for ways to overcome conventional limits on semiconducting circuits and pursue the next generation of electronics."

The results of the two studies were reported in Nano Letters and Advanced Functional Materials. Both of these studies were carried out in collaboration with Prof. Alexander Balandin at the University of California-Riverside and his graduate students Jie Yu, Guanxiong Liu and Dr. Vivek Goyal, a recent Ph.D. graduate.

Funding for the research conducted at the Center for Nanoscale Materials was provided by the Basic Energy Sciences program of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. The original article was written by Jared Sagoff. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Vivek Goyal, Anirudha V. Sumant, Desalegne Teweldebrhan, Alexander A. Balandin. Direct Low-Temperature Integration of Nanocrystalline Diamond with GaN Substrates for Improved Thermal Management of High-Power Electronics. Advanced Functional Materials, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201102786
  2. Jie Yu, Guanxiong Liu, Anirudha V. Sumant, Vivek Goyal, Alexander A. Balandin. Graphene-on-Diamond Devices with Increased Current-Carrying Capacity: Carbon sp2-on-sp3Technology. Nano Letters, 2012; 120215161807006 DOI: 10.1021/nl204545q

Cite This Page:

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. "Diamond-based materials brighten the future of electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313092053.htm>.
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. (2012, March 13). Diamond-based materials brighten the future of electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313092053.htm
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory. "Diamond-based materials brighten the future of electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313092053.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins