Diamonds are forever – and also for semiconductors?
Scientists at Japan's Chiba University are testing a method that uses lasers to create semiconductors from diamond wafers.
This could be a major breakthrough. Why? Because diamonds make excellent semiconductor raw material. Carbon in diamond form has a wide bandgap, which allows semiconductors to function more efficiently at higher voltages, frequencies and temperatures than with silicon.
The need for a wide bandgap is a key reason for the surge in demand for Silicon Carbide (SiC) components. But diamond has an even wider bandgap than SiC.
Unfortunately, diamonds are tough but also brittle – when they crack, they are unusable. The Japanese researchers believe they have found a solution. They have developed a techinique for using lasers to slice diamonds into high-quality wafers at low cost.
The process controls the formation of cracks through the diamond, so that they form along the desired plane. The researchers used the laser to create a grid-like pattern of crack-prone regions.