View Full Version : Diamond Transistors
08 August 2003, 09:12 PM
"Diamond, it turns out, is a geek's best friend. Not only is it the hardest substance known, it also has the highest thermal conductivity - tremendous heat can pass through it without causing damage. Today's speedy microprocessors run hot - at upwards of 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, they can't go much faster without failing. Diamond microchips, on the other hand, could handle much higher temperatures, allowing them to run at speeds that would liquefy ordinary silicon. But manufacturers have been loath even to consider using the precious material, because it has never been possible to produce large diamond wafers affordably. With the arrival of Gemesis, the Florida-based company, and Apollo Diamond, in Boston, that is changing. Both startups plan to use the diamond jewelry business to finance their attempt to reshape the semiconducting world."
"When I visit Butler in Washington, he can barely contain his glee. "There's been a major breakthrough," he tells me. In June, together with scientists from Israel and France, he announced a novel way of inverting boron's natural conductivity to form a boron-doped n-type diamond. "We now have a p-n junction," Butler says. "Which means that we have a diamond semiconductor that really works. I can now see an Intel diamond Pentium chip on the horizon."
08 August 2003, 02:08 AM
Synthetic diamond is actually relatively easy to make-- the problem is that the jewelry corporations have a stranglehold on the industry. They have natural diamonds stockpiled to keep prices up, and throw canniption fits about the synthetics regularly to make sure manufactured diamonds are always marked and clearly identifiable as such.
Now, if we could somehow get PAST that little issue... this would be a totally fab idea!
08 August 2003, 04:21 PM
I read that article. definately we are headed to some interesting times for the semicunductor industry. Those machines from Russia are already producing quality diamonds and you can bet that those comapnies will only grow. If not for commercial sales then for industrial sales in chip manufacturing. A win win investment.
08 August 2003, 07:12 PM
>>But manufacturers have been loath even to consider using the precious material, because it has never been possible to produce large diamond wafers affordably.
I don't know where they get this at. GE is the biggest synthetic diamond manufacturer in the world for industrial purposes(saw blades, drill bits, etc...). It's would just be a matter of them shifting their manufacturing a little and they would be in the computer chip business. I don't get why they think it is that expensive since GE manufactures millions of them every year for cheap.
08 August 2003, 07:34 PM
There are different processes. THis one is unique in that it has the potential to compete directly with the diamond trade. This is not crystalized diamond but whole diamonds starting at 2-4 carats in size.
The quality is the point here. Although there are numerous ways to produce quality synthetic diamond grade material, these devices produce the quality in appreciable carat sizes needed for jewelry. It says right there in the article.
GE's current process will not churn out carat sizes in the diamond grades needed on the consumer level. Nor do I think an industrial market power house like GE cares it's profitable course. :shrug:
This is the 2nd article I read on that already. The low point on these machines is the turn around time to produce in quantity. They are working on that and be sure there are investors banking that they will streamline the process.
The diamond trade in Sierra Leone and Western Africa cause serious maimings and mass murders which many people are unaware of. DeBeers, holds the diamond market lock stock and barrel and has not changed the way it conducts its business. The quality of these synthetics could alter all of that.
08 August 2003, 09:00 PM
It will be a happy day when you dont need to get a several thousand dollar ring thats actually worth jack squat just to get married. Nothing is uglier than a diamond encrusted ring :annoyed:, but if they are no longer status symbols we can finally move away from them!!
But yeah: ""There's been a major breakthrough," he tells me. In June, together with scientists from Israel and France, he announced a novel way of inverting boron's natural conductivity to form a boron-doped n-type diamond. "We now have a p-n junction," Butler says. "Which means that we have a diamond semiconductor that really works. I can now see an Intel diamond Pentium chip on the horizon."
Whatever the hell that means seems to indicate that these are different from the GE diamonds.
08 August 2003, 09:15 PM
actually for a wedding band it's generally held to be good form for it to be plain. the engagement ring is the one with the jewels on it. personally i'd like to see some alternatives to just hte normal metals, my wife has a metal alergy and so we have onyx rings, but i would have liked to have been able to find somewhere i could have had a custom ring made using a ceramic glazed inner with maybe a few bands of titanium or high grade platinum (the two metals that jewlers use the least ammount of nickle in and thus have the least reaction). sadly i could never find such a thing.
08 August 2003, 11:07 AM
Most likely too late to do you any good, but I came across this site a year or so ago.
08 August 2003, 04:42 PM
For more information, here's the transcript of Horizon: The Diamond Makers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/1999/diamonds.shtml), BBC2 9:30pm Thursday 27th January 2000
Edit: The process for industrial diamond use invloves smashing carbon at high speeds and doesn't produce more than diamond dust.
01 January 2006, 10:00 PM
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