Raytheon Proves Element Six’s GaN-on-Diamond Wafers Provide 3x Improvement in Power Density compared to GaN-on SiC for RF Devices

Element Six, announced that Raytheon has demonstrated that the GaN-on-Diamond wafers reduced thermal resistance, increased RF power density, and preserved RF functionality. In high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) devices, Raytheon achieved triple the RF areal power density of GaN-on-SiC devices with GaN-on-Diamond devices. The GaN-on-Diamond devices also demonstrated a mere third of the thermal resistance of GaN-on-SiC devices. Raytheon used several standard thermal measurement techniques, including laser flash, resistance thermometry, and time-domain thermal reflectance (TDTR), as well as finite-element modeling, to establish the consistency of these results.

Through reaching these milestones, Raytheon has met the goals of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) program to demonstrate GaN RF devices that exhibit three times or greater improvement in power density compared to GaN-on-SiC devices with improved thermal management. Additionally, the lower thermal resistance of GaN-on-Diamond translates to more cost effective RF devices with less expensive and simpler thermal management systems and more reliable operation in higher ambient temperatures.

“Heat issues account for more than 50 percent of all electronic failures, and limit GaN’s inherent power-density performance potential,” said Adrian Wilson, director of Element Six Technologies Group. “RF and high-voltage power device manufacturers that leverage GaN-on-Diamond will have access to unmatched wafer thermal conductivity, and be able to deliver rapid, efficient and cost-effective heat extraction.”