Element Six: Producing Diamonds in Silicon Valley?

What is common between diamonds and silicon? While silicon is widely used in engineering diamonds remain a girl’s best friend. But we should not forget about other unique properties of diamonds except brilliance and wearproofness.

Initially diamonds were used for industrial needs for production of drilling, cutting, sawing and so on tools. But blinded by their beauty most people hardly remember the above-mentioned aspect of them, that is why we decided to focus on it today.

There is no other material or natural mineral that can rival diamond in solidity, thermal conductivity and longevity, but often the price for natural diamonds is very high what makes any device involving this precious stone uneconomic. That was the reason (at least one of them) that pushed scientists to think over synthesizing diamonds of the same quality yet of a cheaper price. Element Six is now one of the leading diamond growing manufacturers that is locating in the U.S. In Silicon Valley. Read the article below to find more about Silicon Valley and diamonds.

Silicon Valley adds another distinction to its list of technical achievements this week: The semiconductor capital is now a producer of diamonds. Synthetic diamond maker Element Six formally opened its first U.S. plant here and could be shipping product as early as June.

Element Six expects to hire about 20 people for the highly automated facility which uses a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The company will spend up to $10 million on the 20,000 square foot plant that can produce several million dollars worth of synthetic diamonds per year.

The CVD process involves injecting gases and microwave energy into a vacuum chamber to grow the diamond materials on a substrate. The diamonds are used in a wide range of applications including an expanding set of them in electronics-related industries.

Large single-crystal diamonds help create extrusions of very thin wires used in state-of-the art DRAM traces. Other diamond materials serve as thermal heat spreaders for telecom and power semiconductor components. Some high powered lasers also use Element Six’s synthetic diamonds.

“A large portion of our new markets have decision makers in North America,” said Adrian Wilson, head of technologies for Element Six that previously operated just one plant in England.

“There are number of opportunities for military applications, and to be a supplier to the U.S. military you have to have manufacturing in North America,” Wilson said. “The Silicon Valley location represents an opportunity to network with customers because decision makers in semiconductors are still very much based in the Valley or within an hour or two flight,” he added.

The information is taken from http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4373424/Silicon-Valley-s-latest-product-diamonds-Synthetic-Diamons–Element-Six–Silicon-Valley–Diamonds–Manufacturing-Silicon-Valley-becomes-a-producer-of-synthetic-diamonds-this-w

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