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Synthetic CVD Diamond: An Enabling Thermal Material
Keywords: diamond, thermal conductivity, heat spreader
Diamond has the highest room temperature thermal conductivity of any commercially available thermal material, which makes it a superlative heat spreader. Typically, diamond can be engineered to have a thermal conductivity in the range of 1,000 – 2,000 W/mK, or a factor of 5 – 15 over current alternative materials (BeO, AlN, Al2O3 and others). The benefits of using diamond include, for example, lowering a device’s maximum temperature which can equate to a longer lifetime, increased reliability, device miniaturization and/or more power at a constant temperature. Progress in the synthesis of diamond by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) in the last fifteen years has enabled, for the first time, cost-effective, large-area, free-standing and coated diamond products to be available. To date, these diamond products have been adopted by industries that span telecommunications and power electronics which utilize diamond’s superior heat spreading properties to improve reliability and miniaturization. This paper will present use-cases in the application of Diamond as a heat spreader and will outline how the industry might most effectively integrate diamond in the future to enable its benefits to be exploited in a broad range of Semiconductor power applications.
Richard Balmer, Principal Scientist
Element Six
Ascot, Berkshire

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