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GaN-on-diamond could improve sensors and LED efficiency

A new project focussed on developing a substrate material for Group4 Lab’s novel technology combines diamond and gallium nitride. It is aimed at developing ways of rapidly, efficiently, passively, and cheaply extracting heat

Alfred University has signed a contract with Group4 Labs to develop sacrificial substrates to support the firm's GaN-on-Diamond technology.

The aim is to improve efficiencies in solid state lighting and advance the sensing and communication industries.

Startup company, Group4 Labs, based in Freemont, California, has signed an agreement with Alfred University (AU) researchers to develop a sacrificial substrate for diamond coatings.

S.K. Sundaram and Scott Misture, who are Inamori Professors of materials science in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at AU, will oversee the project.



Group 4 Labs' GaN-on-Diamond substrates

Misture and Sundaram are to develop a substrate material for Group4 Lab’s novel technology which combines diamond and semiconductors to extract heat rapidly, efficiently, passively, and cost-effectively.

According to Sundaram, the micron-sized diamond coating is first applied to a sacrificial substrate. When the sacrificial substrate is removed, the diamond coating will then serve as the substrate for further processing of the semiconductor coating.

Misture and Sundaram believe that cordierite glass-ceramics are most suitable as a diamond coating substrate because the two materials are well matched with regard to thermal expansion as well as chemical and thermal stability under the processing conditions of interest to Group4Labs. The "sacrificial" substrate must also be inexpensive because it is disposed of during processing.

In the past, diamonds had been deposited on substrates with different thermal expansion coefficients, which resulted in "mismatch failure and thermal cracking," according to Misture. The main challenge is matching the thermal expansion coefficients of the substrate and the coating. Misture and Sundaram hope to accomplish that by manipulating the glass chemistry and controlling a specific crystal phase from crystallising out.
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