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Method of Metallizing a Diamond Substrate without Using a Refractory Metal

Technical Description:

Diamond is nature's best thermal conductor. Recent development of chemically vapor deposited (CVD) diamond in wafer form has produced a thermal conductor that closely matches that of natural diamond. The CVD diamond material is far less expensive than natural diamond. Methods have been developed to metallize the surface of CVD diamond substrates using refractory metals and depositing an electrically conductive layer onto the surface of the CVD diamond substrate. These methods are expensive and require special equipment. Also, these methods have exhibited peeling and flaking of metal when high temperatures are achieved. The method developed at NSA uses no special equipment or refractory metals. The method involves preconditioning the CVD diamond material in a high temperature furnace and then applying an electrically conductive pattern onto the surface of the CVD diamond substrate using conventional thick film materials and application techniques. This method allows circuits to be made directly onto the CVD diamond material and to take full advantage of the thermal conductivity and insulating characteristics of the diamond material. U.S. Patent No. 5,631,046.

Commercial Application:

The diamond substrate metallization method has numerous applications in the manufacturing of electrical components and circuits where high thermal conductivity is a major concern.
  • Power Switching Devices/Power Amplifiers
  • Digital circuits where temperature affects processing speed
  • Supercomputer Circuitry
  • Analog and Digital Multi-Chip Modules (MCM)
  • Hybrid Circuits

Released: 1996

Reference Number: Metal

If you are interested in exploring this technology further, please call 443-445-7159 or express your interest in writing to the:

National Security Agency
NSA Technology Transfer Program
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6541
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755-6541


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15 2009