Fraunhofer USA

Fraunhofer USA


Diamond electronics grant awarded to Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Coatings and Laser Applications in collaboration with Michigan State University

Dr. Michael Becker, Scientist at Fraunhofer USA’s Center for Coatings and Laser Applications prepares diamond substrates for laser cutting, a critical processing step to fabricate diamond electronic devices.

Researchers of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Coatings and Laser Applications (CCL) and Michigan State University (MSU) were awarded an ARPA-E grant in the field of diamond electronics. Dr. Thomas Schuelke, Director of CCL’s Coating Division, and Professor Timothy A. Grotjohn, Chair of MSU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department are overseeing the 12 months project to develop a diamond-based diode operating at a breakdown voltage of 1200 V and a forward current of 100 A. The $558,000 proof-of-concept effort started in February.

The field of diamond synthesis and applications is undergoing a spectacular period of transformation as the ability to deposit high-quality monocrystalline diamond materials advances. Diamond is a unique material with multiple superlative properties, including unmatched thermal conductivity, high charge carrier mobilities, and high electric field breakdown strength. The exceptional semiconductor properties of diamond have enormous potential for high-power electronics technology with applications in transportation, manufacturing, and energy sectors. For a number of power electronics applications, the achievable possibilities with diamond substantially exceed those of other wide bandgap semiconductor materials.
The project will use the capabilities and expertise gained through the collaborative efforts of Fraunhofer CCL and MSU on diamond material synthesis and fabrication over the last 10 years.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to be one of two selected laboratories in the nation to work on the transformational topic of diamond electronics.” Dr. Schuelke said. Prof. Grotjohn adds: “This proof-of-concept project will set the stage for diamond electronics research potentially revolutionizing high power electronic devices.”

In 2013, the fruitful Fraunhofer-MSU partnership celebrated its 10th anniversary with an Open-House event. More information about the Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications can be found on their website at

Dr. Schuelke can be reached via email at

Prof. Grotjohn can be reached via email at



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