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Diamond for electronics (DIAM)

The DIAM team was formed in the late 1990s to study the physics of defects in diamond for its applications in electronics. It is based on a crystal growth activity to control the electrical conductivity of diamond. The synthesis is combined with research activities in optical spectroscopy with dedicated techniques for the study of doping. These techniques have led the team to start studying boron nitride materials in 2006. The interest of this 2D semiconductor for graphene-based electronic components has emerged since then.


Well-known for its brilliance as a gemstone, diamond is also a semiconductor with an exceptional set of physical properties. In its pure state, diamond remains electrically insulating at very high temperatures due to its very wide band gap (5.47 eV indirect). It dissipates heat efficiently thanks to its exceptional thermal conductivity (5 times that of copper) and withstands very high voltages (breakdown field >10 MV/cm). In addition, it has high mobility charge carriers (> 3000 cm2/Vs for electrons and holes). These assets make diamond currently considered as the ultimate semiconductor for power electronics.

However, several obstacles still need to be overcome in order to exploit the full potential of diamond in electronics. The control of electrical conductivity through the addition of impurities (doping) is a major obstacle to the development of diamond electronics. The manufacture of thin diamond layers over large surfaces is another.

The DIAM team is working to remove these "material" bottlenecks with researches focused on the physics of defects and impurities. The team's main theme is n-type doping, with the fabrication and study of the physical properties of thin layers of phosphorus-doped diamond.