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Synthetic CVD diamond – an enabling thermal material
Keywords: diamond, thermal management, rf devices
Diamond possesses a remarkable set of properties including the highest known thermal conductivity, stiffness and hardness, combined with exceptional optical properties, low expansion coefficient and low density. These formidable characteristics make diamond the ultimate solution for thermal management problems. The challenge is to harness the properties of diamond in the form of cost-effective products that can be integrated into a wide range of power and optical devices. Substantial developments have been achieved in the synthesis of chemical vapour deposition (CVD) diamond in recent years, providing engineers and designers with access to a large range of new materials. This paper will review those developments, specifically reporting state-of-the-art in terms of thermal conductivity characterization of polycrystalline wafers with diameters up to 140 mm and associated application case studies. Overall system needs in thermal applications and the importance of coating and bonding technologies to make the best use of the available properties are discussed. A case study will be presented where CVD diamond is being used to reduce the junction temperature in RF devices.
Daniel Twitchen, CTO
Element Six
San Jose, Santa Clara

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