Diamond electronic devices for operation in space: A combined experimental and quantum simulation study

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


The context of the research
Diamond is a fantastic new material for the production of future generation high performance electronic devices. Understanding the fundamental operation of the surface of diamond at the atomic and quantum level is crucial for the ongoing development of diamond electronic device technology and forms the basis for this PhD research. The unique properties of diamond in particular make it ideal for the development of robust electronic systems for operation in extreme and hazardous environments such as for future satellite technologies, extra-terrestrial planetary exploration and long-haul space missions.
Brief description of the context of the research including potential impact;
Although diamond possesses many unique characteristics which make it highly attractive as an active semiconductor, difficulties associated with doping have restricted the ongoing development of a range of electronic, sensing, optical and quantum technologies. This work will investigate the physical, chemical and electrical processes at play at the diamond surface to develop greater understanding and exploitation potential of surface transfer doping (STD) in diamond. Establishing a robust and high performance STD process in diamond will catalyse research in an wide area or diamond based applications with the primary focus being high power, robust electronics for this work.
Aims and objectives
Develop an atomistic model for the STD process at the interface between diamond and a range of electron acceptor materials.
Explore alternative surface terminations of diamond both theoretically and by experimentation to investigate their potential application for advanced STD.
Generate a detailed model for the sub-surface transport of charge with diamond and ascertain the maximum performance achievable in terms of carrier mobility and density.

Novelty of the research methodology
This research will combine cutting edge experimental diamond experimental work with atomistic modelling and simulation to bridge the gap between theory and practise in fundamental diamond electronic device research. The University of Glasgow are currently world leaders in the development of diamond device technology and this work will expand greatly upon and complement this research.
Alignment to EPSRC's strategies and research areas:
As part of the EPSRC remit for "RF and Microwave Devices", the proposed work strongly aligns with the EPSRC ICT shaping capability campaign and is highlighted as a priority research area for growth
Its potential applications and benefits
A range of diamond technologies currently in development and yet to be established will benefit from this work. Specifically this research will impact the development of high power, high frequency devices and systems for use in a range of future applications e.g. satellite communications, radar etc.
Any companies or collaborators
Oliver Williams - Cardiff University
Element Six Ltd
Alex Talliare - University Paris 13


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509668/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1804874 Studentship EP/N509668/1 02/10/2016 01/10/2020 Joseph McGhee