The combination of extreme electronic and thermal properties found in synthetic diamond produced by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is raising considerable excitement over its potential use as a semiconductor material. Experimental studies have demonstrated charge-carrier mobilities1 of >3000 cm2V-1s-1 and thermal conductivities2 >2000 Wm-1K-1. The material has been predicted to have a breakdown field strength in excess of 10 MVcm-1. These figures suggest that, providing a range of technical challenges can be overcome, diamond would be particularly well suited to operation as a semiconductor material wherever high frequencies, high powers, high temperatures or high voltages are required.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70349-8