In the semiconductor industry, silicon has reigned as the king through the years. However, recently it’s been noted to have arrived at its physical limits and may not be at par with what future demands.
Scientists have found diamond to be an appropriate substitute for silicon due to its superior carrier mobility, thermal conductivity, and break down the electric field. All these properties are essential for powering electronic devices.
The importance of diamond increased further with the development of CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). CVD is a process used for the growth of high-quality single crystals. Scientists have started using diamonds as an ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor to power electrical grids, electric cars, and locomotives much more effectively.
In a recent study, while looking at the advantages of using diamonds, a team of researchers has explored the properties of synthetically made diamonds. The study's finding may develop the Diamond Market further as photoconductive diamonds so produced can be used in the power grid to control surges of current and voltage.
Silicon switches that are currently in use are bulky and big. However, if one uses diamond instead of silicon, the same thing can be provided with a device that has the ability to fit on the tip of an individual’s finger.
Researchers achieved the best combination of frequency and conductivity in photoconductive devices by bringing impurities. These impurities help in controlling recombination carrier lifetimes. The study disclosed that in diamond, a cheap and alternative method to this approach is electron irradiation, wherein recombination defects get created by knocking the lattice atoms out of place.
The team investigated properties of synthetically made diamonds, which are of higher quality than those made naturally-This was done as in electronics one starts from the purest material and then tries to mold that into a device with desired properties.
Researchers surveyed the high-quality CVD diamond and irradiated it to perceive if the carrier can be tailored for a lifetime or not. Eventually, the team was able to establish the particular irradiation defect which was responsible for carrier lifetimes. They also determined the way in which the fault would behave under annealing at technologically relevant temperatures.
In the future, this research method of optimizing diamond’s high-frequency response may also be beneficial in the energy delivery systems, wherein a megawatt-class radio frequency power could be generated.
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