editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Diamond Windows

It’s funny that, as all things silicon shrink and we look forward to alternatives, we’re getting used to hearing about carbon as a regular material – but always in the form of graphene or tubes. As diamond, it seems completely foreign. Yet it’s basically the same stuff.

Then I saw a press release about Element Six ramping up production on diamonds for use in EUV. How a diamond factors into EUV was completely non-obvious to me (well, until I had a discussion with them and then reread the release). Part of my confusion was the fact that diamonds (at least good ones) are transparent, and yet EUV systems don’t use lenses or any other transmissive optics; the EUV energy is channeled by reflection – it’s all mirrors.

So where could a diamond figure in? And why something so “expensive”? (Gonna bypass the whole market control issue here…) Those of us not involved also might think of artificial industrial diamonds as made by simulating the conditions under which natural diamonds are created: high temperature and pressure.

But there are a lot more options than that. Element Six (no, they don’t compete with DeBeers: they are a part of DeBeers) has numerous ways of making diamonds for different applications. Yes, large single-crystal pieces using the high-temp/pressure method, but also grits and purer polycrystalline diamonds.

The ones used in EUV are grown using CVD by creating a plasma out of methane and hydrogen, with the methane breaking down to release carbon. And these guys are particularly pure. Their important properties for EUV, according to Element Six, are the fact that they have the highest thermal conductivity of any room-temp solid and that they can pass a wide range of frequencies without lensing or aberrations.

So where does this fit into the EUV picture? No, not in the actual EUV delivery portion: in the CO2 laser itself for a laser-produced plasma (LPP) system. It forms the windows through which the laser travels, including the output coupler from the lasing cavity, along the transport path, and up to and including the final window in the subsystem. Other materials tend to break down around 8 KW or so; diamond can handle megawatts, so it’s the only material that can realistically be used in this application.

An increase in production would presumably reflect confidence that EUV systems will hit their stride and be produced in “volume” quantities…

And if you wish to see more about their specific announcement, you can find it in their release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jun 5, 2020
'€œYou'€™ll know it when you see it.'€ Have you had that moment where you know what you want but don'€™t know what it is? So you start looking around the store, the internet, or your house to find it. To help you find those '€œknow it when you see it'€ solutions...
Jun 4, 2020
[From the last episode: We started this new with a broad introduction to machine learning.] While neuromorphic neural networks '€“ that is, ones that work the way our brains work '€“ may still be off in the future a ways, someone came up with a different way to emulate th...
Jun 2, 2020
It just struck me that I have only 37 years remaining to complete my Countdown Timer project before it becomes superfluous to requirements....

Featured Video

DesignWare 112G Ethernet PHY IP JTOL & ITOL Performance

Sponsored by Synopsys

This video shows the Synopsys 112G Ethernet PHY IP in TSMC’s N7 process passing the jitter and interference tolerance test at the IEEE-specified bit error rate (BER). The IP with leading power, performance, and area is available in a range of FinFET processes for high-performance computing SoCs.

Click here for more information

Featured Paper

Triple Punch Extends The Life Of Your Smart Factory Indoor BLE Beacon

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

One emerging element of smart factories is asset management, namely the tracking of man and machine. Tracking is deployed to achieve two purposes—as a digital twin emulation mechanism to assess inefficiencies on the factory floor and as a predictive maintenance mechanism to determine impending failures. In this design solution, we review the challenges of powering a BLE beacon with a disposable battery and introduce a voltage regulator boost converter that, thanks to a triple punch of high efficiency, low shutdown current, and low quiescent current, sustains its operation for two years on a single disposable AA battery.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Introducing Google Coral

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Google

AI inference at the edge is exploding right now. Numerous designs that can’t use cloud processing for AI tasks need high-performance, low-power AI acceleration right in their embedded designs. Wouldn’t it be cool if those designs could have their own little Google TPU? In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with James McKurkin of Google about the Google Coral edge TPU.

More information about Coral System on Module