Phase II year
2002 (last award dollars: 2002)
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will build upon and extend the encouraging results obtained in the Phase I program, which investigated the properties of thin, electrically conductive, UV transparent films and tri-layer metal coatings as possible diamond switch electrode structures for power electronics. Phase I benchmarked UV transmission, electrical conductivity and substrate adhesion for 14 to 44 nm Mo films, deposited using an energetic filtered cathodic arc deposition process. A companion program demonstrated a significant reduction in the diamond switch on-state resistance, and hence, improvement in switch efficiency, using these films as contact electrodes. The Phase II program will apply these results to a commercially relevant specification by demonstrating that the thin film deposition process can be scaled and the complex thin film mesa-shaped electrode topology can be realized. The anticipated mesa-shaped design will consist of a series of narrow tri-layer conduits, with the relatively large spaces in between coated with the thin UV transparent, electrically conductive film. This design maximizes the UV input into the diamond, which is used to activate the switch, while minimizing the electrical resistance. The properties of the electrode will be benchmarked against commercially relevant operating requirements. The project's commercial potential is considered significant since it both supports the entry of diamond switch technology into the $21 billion per year power electronic device market as well as advancing the energetic deposition process thin film knowledge base, which in turn provides an improved platform for launching additional commercial ventures.