Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Diamond and silicon carbide deposition and processing technology especially related to sensors

The technology on offer falls into 2 distinct categories:

Sensors using diamond or silicon carbide thin films:
By exploiting the superior material properties of diamond and silicon carbide (their high chemical resistance; large thermal conductivities; large band gap; hardness and elastic properties) sensors can be fabricated that out perform conventional sensor materials (eg silicon) in hot or hostile and aggressive environments.

Diamond has the highest thermal diffusivity of any known material making it particularly suitable for fast response temperature measurements. Diamond also has the highest hardness and largest Young's modulus of any known material, coupled with a gauge factor (measured on a single crystal) 3 times greater than monocrystalline silicon making it an attractive material for pressure sensor technology.

Demonstration sensors fabricated by the diamond and silicon carbide sensors (DISCS) consortium include thermistors, pressure transducers, flow sensors, and colour or optical detectors. Further cooperation is required to apply this sensor technology to industrial applications.

Diamond and silicon carbide technology:
High quality diamond thin films can be deposited, using plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition methods, uniformly over areas up to 100 mm diameter on silicon or other substrates (eg alumina, metals, etc). Polycrystalline beta-silicon carbide and amorphous silicon carbide can be deposited on a variety of substrates (silicon, sapphire, etc) over 50 x 50 mm areas using either plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) or an ion beam modification approach.

Downstream processing technologies include:
structure delineation using selective area deposition or selective etching via reactive ion etching, ion beam processing, wet chemical etching or Excimer laser processing;
semiconductor doping via in situ doping or postdeposition ion implantation (available dopants for diamond are boron, which is a p-type, while for silicon carbide both n-type and p-type dopants are available);
metallization schemes for ohmic and Schottky contacts to both diamond and silicon carbide (these contacts are stable at high temperatures and offer good contact characteristics).

These processing technologies are available for use outside the consortium.
The consortium was led by AEA Technology and included 10 other partners in 4 European countries.

Reported by

AEA Technology
Building 552 Harwell Laboratory
OX11 0RA Didcot
United Kingdom
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