Mixed-size diamond seeding for low-thermal-barrier growth of CVD diamond onto GaN and AlN

Smith, E.J.W. and Piracha, A.H. and Fields, D. and Pomeroy, J.W. and Mackenzie, G.R. and Abdallah, Z. and Massabuau, F. C-P. and Hinz, A.M. and Wallis, D.J. and Oliver, R.A. and Kuball, M. and May, P.W. (2020) Mixed-size diamond seeding for low-thermal-barrier growth of CVD diamond onto GaN and AlN. Carbon, 167. pp. 620-626. ISSN 0008-6223

[thumbnail of Smith-etal-Carbon-2020-Mixed-size-diamond-seeding-for-low-thermal-barrier-growth]
Text (Smith-etal-Carbon-2020-Mixed-size-diamond-seeding-for-low-thermal-barrier-growth)
Accepted Author Manuscript
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 logo

Download (641kB)| Preview


    We report a method of growing a diamond layer via chemical vapour deposition (CVD) utilizing a mixture of microdiamond and nanodiamond seeding to give a low effective thermal boundary resistance (TBR eff) for heat-spreading applications in high-frequency, high-power electronic devices. CVD diamond was deposited onto thin layers of both GaN and AlN on Si substrates, comparing conventional nanodiamond seeding with a two-step process involving sequential seeding with microdiamond then nanodiamond. Thermal properties were determined using transient thermoreflectance (TTR), and the samples were also analysed with SEM and X-ray tomography. While diamond growth directly onto GaN proved to be unsuccessful due to poor adhesion, films grown on AlN were adherent and robust. The two-step mixed-seeding method gave TBR eff values < 6 m 2 K GW −1 that were 30 times smaller than for films grown under identical conditions but using nanodiamond seeding alone. Such remarkably low thermal barriers obtained with the mixed-seeding process offer a promising route for fabrication of high-power GaN HEMTs using diamond as a heat spreader with an AlN interlayer.

    ORCID iDs

    Smith, E.J.W., Piracha, A.H., Fields, D., Pomeroy, J.W., Mackenzie, G.R., Abdallah, Z., Massabuau, F. C-P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1008-1652, Hinz, A.M., Wallis, D.J., Oliver, R.A., Kuball, M. and May, P.W.;