The Newsroom

Icon of diamond

AKHAN to Preview Miraj Diamond™ Glass Lens at the 2016 National Competitiveness Forum

Yahoo! News- December 9, 2016

CHICAGO -- AKHAN Semiconductor is pleased to announce that it will be attending and speaking at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness’ 2016 National Competitiveness Forum on December 9, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Council on Competitiveness’ National Competitiveness Forum is the nation’s premier C-Suite invitation only event providing a critical platform for several game-changing issues vital for the United States to maintain its competitive edge. This daylong event assembles the nation’s top public and private sector leaders to assess the state of the nation’s competitiveness and explore pressing and emerging priorities.

AKHAN Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Adam Khan will give a short presentation on AKHAN’s Miraj Diamond™ platform, which is leading growth in the advanced materials market with innovative diamond-based solutions for automotive, aerospace, military/defense, consumer electronics, and telecommunications.

“We are ecstatic to attend to speak at this prestigious forum. Having conducted the entirety of the initial research, development, product planning, and now commercial production launch domestically, we are proud to showcase our technology as an example of American innovation and competitiveness” said Khan. “With the addition of commercial lens glass to the company’s flagship Miraj Diamond™ Glass products, we are well positioned to address the entirety of the glass on present and future mobile, wearable, and VR systems, including camera systems. Sapphire, the 2nd hardest material behind diamond, has seen adoption in the marketplace with cost and performance second to Miraj Diamond™ Glass, which is 6x stronger and 10x harder than the leading consumer glass” added AKHAN Chief Operating Officer, Carl Shurboff, also in attendance at the forum.

"We are so happy to have AKHAN Semiconductor as a member of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Adam Khan and his company represent a new generation of leaders who are becoming engaged in policy," said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. "Their voices add much-needed perspective to the dialogue, raising awareness for important issues in technology. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with AKHAN and reaching more folks in the technology sector."

AKHAN Semiconductor is a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of electronics-grade diamonds as functional semiconductors."

AKHAN and Blue Wave partner to develop nanocrystalline diamond processes on HFCVD systems

Semiconductor Today- October 25, 2016

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc of Gurnee, IL, USA, which specializes in the fabrication and application of nanocrystalline (NCD)-based materials & devices for semiconductor and electronic applications, has announced a partnership with Blue Wave Semiconductors Inc of Baltimore, MD, USA (which provides processing tools and thin-film technology components and materials to R&D customers, Federal Government, and industrial partners) that is reckoned to constitute a key step forward for the R&D of both companies, allowing both to expand the functionality and applications of their products and processes.

Blue Wave produces hot-filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) equipment, representing an important differentiator as AKHAN is now preparing to fabricate its Miraj diamond material from both microwave and hot-filament systems for a variety of thin-film substrates such as silicon, silicon carbide (SiC), and glass.

AKHAN is partnering with Blue Wave for nanocrystalline diamond process development on HFCVD systems. The partnership should allow AKHAN to optimize its diamond technologies for a variety of optical, mechanical & thermal/electronic product lines and is intended to also facilitate rapid and efficient commercial scaling.

"This partnership will greatly enhance our operational and commercial diamond capability, where our customers can benefit from an optimized lab-to-fab deployment schedule, while maintaining compliance with rigid electronics manufacturing standards," says AKHAN's president & chief operating officer Carl Shurboff.

"We are extremely excited to welcome officials from CINDE to our global HQ in Gurnee," said AKHAN COO Carl Shurboff. "AKHAN's advanced diamond materials, such as the Miraj Diamond Glass platform have allowed for synergistic discussions with the Costa Rican officials for expanding product manufacturing and collaborating on advanced R&D opportunities. AKHAN has been working quite effectively with both international businesses and officials, and we look forward to growing the bilateral opportunities with Costa Rica."

"This partnership strengthens our HFCVD product line for realizing diamond coatings applications to commercial opto-mechanical components," adds Blue Wave's CEO & CTO Dr R.D. Vispute.

AKHAN leaders look at opportunities with Costa Rica

Daily Herald- October 5, 2016

CHICAGO -- Gurnee-based AKHAN Semiconductor and Illinois state leaders was part of a recent meeting with the Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) that examined promoting and conducting semiconductor research and development among the two countries.

At the introductory meeting, AKHAN and CINDE discussed laying the groundwork for future deals with Costa Rican companies as well as created a development road map for partnership opportunities for product research, pilot development and high volume commercialization.

The meeting also focused on partnership opportunities for clean technology, and how CINDE can potentially license and collaborate on research with AKHAN, whose diamond-based semiconductors are pioneering electronics and engineering processes that minimize pollution and environmental waste.

Attending the event were Illinois State Sen. Melinda Bush and Economic Development Director Ellen Dean, as well as AKHAN senior leadership, including company Founder & Chief Executive Officer Adam Khan, President & Chief Operating Officer Carl Shurboff, and Chief Financial Officer Kristie King.

"We are extremely excited to welcome officials from CINDE to our global HQ in Gurnee," said AKHAN COO Carl Shurboff. "AKHAN's advanced diamond materials, such as the Miraj Diamond Glass platform have allowed for synergistic discussions with the Costa Rican officials for expanding product manufacturing and collaborating on advanced R&D opportunities. AKHAN has been working quite effectively with both international businesses and officials, and we look forward to growing the bilateral opportunities with Costa Rica."

Lucía Gross, Investment Promotion Manager Life Sciences sector at CINDE, notes that Costa Rica is interested in exploring new opportunities for collaboration with high level companies such as AKHAN. "Our country is the perfect location to develop research activities in several areas related to high tech manufacturing. We are very excited to establish contact and explore future agreements with [AKHAN]".

"I'm pleased to continue working with AKHAN as they do exciting work in Lake County and take steps to forge important international partnerships," says State Senator Melinda Bush. "This kind of cooperation is key if we seek to thrive in the global economy."

AKHAN completes executive line-up by adding chief technology officer and chief financial officer

Semiconductor Today- August 26, 2016

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc of Gurnee, IL, USA, which specializes in the fabrication and application of nanocrystalline (NCD)-based materials & devices for semiconductor and electronic applications, has completed hiring to its C-Suite positions with two new executives - Bill Alberth as chief technology officer and Kristie King as chief financial officer - joining existing CEO & founder Adam Khan and chief operating officer Carl Shurboff.

Alberth has nearly 30 years of experience in the mobile device and wireless technology sector. Before joining AKHAN, he spent 25 years with Motorola Mobile Devices along with Shurboff, overseeing the architecture and commercialization of wireless LTE, CDMA, UMTS, WIFI, Bluetooth and NFC products. In 2012, he founded Innovations Technologies Consulting Inc, where he has served as president.

King has over 20 years of senior leadership experience with Motorola Mobility Inc and Motorola Solutions Inc. She has worked with several startups and Fortune 100 companies, and has used her financial modeling skills, financial system design expertise, contract negotiation and financial management leadership to achieve these companies' business goals. King is also currently on faculty at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, where she designed and teaches the Entrepreneurial Finance course.

"Each with a proven track record of success in technology commercialization and research-to-product deployment, their respective skills, talent, and expertise will be invaluable in growing and maintaining our global lead in diamond semiconductor," believes Khan.

Look out Gorilla Glass: Diamond glass could be harder to crack

ExtremeTech- August 3, 2016

Ryan Whitwam


Hardened glass like the near-ubiquitous Gorilla Glass from Corning has made capacitive touchscreens the standard way of interacting with a smartphone. It’s constantly improving, too. Gorilla Glass is resistant to scratching, and newer screens won’t crack nearly as easily as they have in years past. It doesn’t have any bling, though. A company called Akhan Semiconductor says that it’s close to releasing a diamond coating for glass that would be even more durable than Gorilla Glass.

Corning, which recently announced Gorilla Glass 5, makes the glass for nearly every high-end smartphone including the Galaxy S7 and new Note7. Apple also uses hardened glass from Corning, but doesn’t like to talk specifics. Akhan Semiconductor says that its Akhan Miraj NCD diamond (that’s quite a mouthful) material is four times as crack-resistant and seven times as scratch-proof compared to Gorilla Glass.

Diamond, being the hardest material known, is a natural choice when you want to make something durable. It’s not the first place electronics companies looked, though. Sapphire glass has been slowly making its way into mobile devices like the Apple Watch and a few ruggedized phones. Apple famously wanted to equip the iPhone with a sapphire glass screen several years ago, but the company that was set up to supply that glass, GT Advanced Technologies, was unable to produce it in sufficient volume and eventually went out of business.

Akhan Semiconductor says that its diamond glass is actually cheaper and easier to produce than sapphire. Scientists have been able to create synthetic diamonds for years, so that’s no problem now. What sets the NCD diamond apart is that it’s only a very thin layer on top of regular UV glass manufactured by Corning. It essentially grows the diamond on a glass substrate via an inexpensive process called chemical vapor deposition. The diamond component is 800 times thinner than a Gorilla Glass 5 panel and stronger than a pane of sapphire glass.

That all sounds great, but diamond screens could be challenging to implement for some of the same reasons sapphire hasn’t taken off. Because diamond is harder, it won’t scratch, but it can shatter. Akhan claims the thinness of the diamond makes up for that, allowing the panel to be slightly flexible (see above). Reflectivity is also an issue with materials like sapphire and diamond. Again, Akhan says this won’t be a problem because it “tunes” the crystals to lower the index of refraction.

As for when you’ll see a Akhan Miraj NCD diamond display, that’s up in the air. Akhan Semiconductor thinks it can have the technology to produce the glass at scale within a year, but it’s looking for licensing partners to actually do the production. It’s even possible Corning will bite.

Move over Gorilla Glass: Diamond-coated display tech could be the future of smartphone screens

International Business Times (UK)- August 2, 2016

Owen Hughes


A company claims to have bested Corning's ultra-tough smartphone display tech with diamond-reinforced glass that's nearly four times as crack-resistant and seven times more scratch-proof than Gorilla Glass.

Corning's glass technology has been faithfully protecting our smartphones from life's inadvertent mishaps for years now. It introduced its new Gorilla Glass 5 on 21 July, which it claims can survive drops from up 1.6 metres and will allow smartphones to withstand up to 80% of face-down drops onto hard surfaces.

The US-based company has gone relatively unchallenged in this arena for a while now, although it seems as if another company is now vying for this lucrative territory.

According to Mashable, US company Akhan Semiconductor has developed a glass product "considerable stronger" and 800 times thinner than Gorilla Glass 5, achieved by covering standard UV glass with synthetic diamonds.

The company calls its product Akhan Miraj NCD diamond, which admittedly isn't quite as catchy as Gorilla Glass.

Akhan claims its diamond-coated glass is even tougher than sapphire, an ultra-tough material that is receiving growing attention from electronics companies as a means of protecting their gadgets. While it has seen some use – Apple used sapphire in the iWatch, for example −it's expensive to mass-produce. It is a gemstone, after all.

Meanwhile, Akhan claims its product is far cheaper and quicker to mass-produce. It does this through a method known as chemical vapour deposition, during which layers of diamond are "grown" on top of glass using microwave radiation.

Not only is it tough and thin, but it is also flexible. The company reckons its glass can be bent up to 45 degrees without breaking, making it a potential candidate for these flexible smartwatches and smartphones we've heard so much about but have yet to actually see.

Akhan told Mashable that it estimates being able to manufacture its Miraj NCD diamond glass at scale within a year. The company is now on the hunt for licensees and hasn't ruled out Corning as a potential partner, so it looks as if Gorilla Glass is safe from being dropped for the time being.

New diamond-coated screen tech could be stronger than Gorilla Glass

Mashable- August 1, 2016

Lance Ulanoff


If you’d like to save your phone screen, put some bling on it.

More than a decade ago, scientists figured out how to grow synthetic diamond as a potential replacement for the silicon MEMs or microelectromechanical systems. Now AKHAN Semiconductor says it’s figured out how to build on that original breakthrough, further refining the production process to create what may be the first-ever diamond-reinforced glass.

Diamond is attractive as a potential smartphone display cover not only because it’s the hardest material known to mankind, but also because of its chemical inertness, thermal capabilities and high resistance to contaminants. Lab-grown diamond is even more attractive as a potential consumer electronic component because you can use it without having to dig up the rare and expensive material.

It’s also “chemically more perfect than natural diamond,” said Adam Khan, CEO and founder of AKHAN Semiconductor. Now Khan’s company has figured out how to apply a nanometers-thin film of synthetic diamond, known as AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond, onto a standard UV glass to produce a material that, the company claims, is considerably stronger than Corning’s recently announced Gorilla Glass 5.

Corning’s ultra-thin, yet flexible, scratch-resistant and impressively strong glass has made its way onto most of the leading smartphones currently on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy S7, Google’s Nexus devices and, though Apple won’t confirm, probably some of the latest iPhones. Gorilla Glass can hold up to a lot of abuse, but as many can attest, it’s not break-proof.

A stronger display material, sapphire (it rates a 9 on the Mohs scale for mineral hardness, while diamond rates a 10), is slowly making its way onto consumer devices like the Apple watch, but it still can’t be reliably produced in large-enough volumes to work for phone and tablet display manufacturers. Corning is currently working on a Gorilla Glass-sapphire composite.

Read More at http://mashable.com/2016/08/01/diamond-glass/#cYl_lJs_GuqX

What if the iPhone 8’s screen is even more durable than Gorilla Glass 5?

BGR- August 1, 2016

Chris Smith


A few days ago, Corning announced its next-gen Gorilla Glass 5 screen that will protect the displays of some of the top Android flagships coming over the next year. The Galaxy Note 5 and iPhone 7 might be two of the first devices to get the ultra-durable glass cover. But what if the iPhone of the future came with a display cover made of artificial diamond that was even stronger than Gorilla Glass?

Damaging the screen due to accidental drops is one of the most annoying things that can happen to a smartphone. Hopefully, Gorilla Glass 5 (pictured above) will help prevent cracking even more effectively than the previous generation glass. But Corning isn’t the only company working on such technology.

AKHAN Semiconductor is a name you should remember. According to Mashable, the company figured how to create diamond-reinforced glass, with help of synthetic diamonds. AKHAN managed to apply a “nanometers-thin film of synthetic diamond,” or AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond, onto a standard UV glass. The resulting material is said to be “considerably stronger” than Gorilla Glass 5.

Without Steve Jobs’s insistence, the original iPhone may not have featured an all-glass display to begin with, and Corning wouldn’t have been pushed to came up with a feasible product in time for launch. Apple is at the forefront of the market, especially when it comes to product quality, so it would make sense for the company to be interesting in this new technology.

Time will tell if next year’s iPhone will dump Corning for this new breakthrough tech. After all, not so long ago, Apple wanted to protect the iPhone with sapphire glass.

AKHAN Miraj NCD diamond-covered glass is 800 times thinner than Gorilla Glass 5, and it may be stronger than sapphire. Even more impressive is the fact that diamond glass is cheaper to mass-produce than sapphire, and can be manufactured a lot faster. Other properties of this new material include flexibility (up to 45-degrees), which would play out well with Apple’s supposed plans of making an iPhone with a wraparound display. Furthermore, the diamond-coated display has a low thermal conductivity, which means displays could be kept even cooler.

AKHAN will be able to produce diamond glass at scale within a year, but the company could partner up with Corning for a licensing deal. The demo units AKHAN built used Corning glass as a substrate.

This Startup Wants to Replace the Silicon In Your Smartphone with Diamonds

Digital Trends- July 11, 2016

Kyle Wiggers


Chances are you’ve never heard of Akhan Semiconductor, but the company is well on its way to producing the hardware at the heart of your next smartphone, smartwatch, laptop, or virtual reality headset. The new components won’t only last longer and perform better than today’s tech, but their environmental impact will be much less severe, too. The big secret? Diamonds.

Instead of making processing chips out of silicon, Akhan is using jewelry’s favorite gem stone. Why make processors out of diamonds?

Diamonds, it turns out, aren’t just the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale. They have a knack for transferring heat, and do a much better job of retaining energy compared to the silicon in most of today’s electronics. The minerals, on average, can run five times hotter and eliminate up to 90 percent of energy typically loss in the course of electron transfer.

“We’re the only company in the world that can create [these diamonds],” Carl Shurbof, Akhan’s chief of operations, told Digital Trends, “and we’re uniquely positioned to create a new ecosystem.”

The applications are practically endless. For consumer devices like the smartphone in your pocket, diamond could drastically reduce the amount of heat it produces. A diamond-made smartphone would be cooler against your face when you’re chatting with a buddy, for one, but could also last substantially longer. High temperatures wear aggressively at electronics, meaning that any reduction in heat has the potential to boost their lifespan.

Your phone could be thinner, too, since it wouldn’t need the temperature-regulating heatsinks and fans of silicon models. And as an added bonus, it might be faster — the newfound thermal headroom would allow phone makers to bump up performance.

Perhaps even more incredibly, diamond-based electronics could be cheaper than their silicon counterparts, Shurboff said. That is, again, because manufacturers don’t have to worry about keeping the devices cool.

But smartphones aren’t the only devices that stand to benefit. Electric car manufacturers like Tesla are targeting circuitry efficiency improvements of around 18 percent, a goalpost Shurboff said Akhan’s diamonds could easily exceed. The diamonds are tailor-made for heavy manufacturing and aerospace firms, which often require materials strong enough to withstand extreme radiation like x-rays.“It’s both elegant and extremely high tech,” Shurboff said.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/diamond-processors-take-on-silicon/

At AKHAN, Motorola Vets are Using Man-Made Diamonds to Make Flexible Wearables

ChicagoInno - July 11, 2016

Jim Dallke


At a factory in Gurnee, IL, a group of motorola veterans and other technologists are building hardware of the future. And they're doing so by making diamonds in a lab.

AKHAN Semiconductor, founded in 2012 by Adam Khan, is developing wearable technology with flexible and transparent displays for a range of industries--industrial, defense, aerospace and consumer electronics--by creating man-made diamonds from methane gas.

Using diamonds as a semiconductor material, as opposed to traditional silicon, AKHAN says it can make flexible and transparent displays on smaller and more powerful devices, as diamonds allow electronics to be thinner and to operate at higher temperatures.

Think about how your cell phone gets hot after heavy use; AKHAN's technology can keep devices from overheating, making them more powerful and capable of handling more data, COO Carl Shurboff said.

""Diamonds will pull heat out of a device much more efficiently, and so the device runs cooler and runs more efficient," Shurboff said. "The cooler the device, the more efficient it will be."

Shurboff is among a group of 10 AKHAN employees, six of which are former Motorola Mobility veterans who worked on the company's iconic Razr phone, among other projects. Shurboff spent more than 25 years at Motorola, working his way from Integrated Circuit Designer to the Director of Product Management. He said working on the Razr helped inspire some the work AKHAN does today: making small devices that don't skimp on quality.

AKHAN is tight-lipped about the specific projects it has in the works, but Shurboff said the company is working on developing flexible technology and wearable devices that go far beyond what we have today.

"The wearable devices today are kind of a neat toy someone buys, but they don’t wear it a lot," he said. "Right now any wearable goes through issues, like scratched glass ... We have the ability to make the hardest material for wearable technology so you won’t worry about scratching the display."

AKHAN is currently partnering with tech companies to bring its technology to their devices, but Shurboff declined to give specific names other than to say the company is working with "major suppliers and OEMs" in the hardware space.

Shurboff said AKHAN is working on things like creating novel user interphases for a touchscreen display. For example, a smartwatch comes with a screen and a band. But what if the band was also part of the watch display, and something that you could touch and interact with?

"With our technology, you could make electronics in the flexible wrist band," he said. AKHAN isn't the only company growing diamonds in a lab. Diamond Foundry, a Santa Clara startup with backing from Leonardo DiCaprio, can grow diamonds up to nine carats in just two weeks, which it then sells to jewelry designers. But AKHAN says it's the only player in the diamond electronics space.

The genesis for AKHAN's technology was developed by the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and its Center for Nanoscale Material, where AKHAN's founder and CEO Adam Khan worked. (AKHAN has a partnership with Argonne to develop technology using diamond technology.)

When AKHAN decided to set up shop in Gurnee, the move was celebrated by local officials, with Democratic state Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake calling Lake County "Diamond Prairie" as AKHAN becomes the first company to implement diamond technology into electronics. There was also financial incentive to grow in Gurnee, as village trustees approved $5.8 million in performance-based state and local tax breaks for AKHAN.

Shurboff said the company is planning to add dozens of more jobs to its Gurnee factory, and AKHAN is partnering with the College of Lake County to develop an incubator to foster high-tech companies in the area. AKHAN says it expects to employ 100 people in the next two years.

AKHAN Joins US Council on Competitiveness

Semiconductor Today - June 28, 2016

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc of Gurnee, IL, USA, which manufactures nanocrystalline (NCD)-based materials & devices, has joined the US Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan, leadership organization.

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc was formed in late 2012 as a subsidiary of AKHAN Technologies Inc, which was founded in 2007 by Adam Khan to commercialize Diamond Lattice Technology for diamond-based semiconductor devices. The firm's IP portfolio combines AKHAN's Miraj Diamond portfolio with low-temperature diamond deposition technology developed by Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials.

"The Council prides itself on its innovative membership, and AKHAN embodies the type of forward-looking, advanced companies that will keep the US competing at the highest level in the coming decades," comments Council president & CEO Deborah L. Wince-Smith.

Founder & CEO Adam Khan joins more than 140 industry CEOs, university presidents, national lab directors and labor leaders on the Council, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this winter. The group identifies policy solutions and creates public-private partnerships between its members and the federal government in order to ensure US prosperity in the global economy.

"Having pledged to increase the US economic competitiveness in the global marketplace through our leadership and growth in the diamond semiconductor market, AKHAN's work and goals are well aligned with the broader mission of the Council," says Khan.

Diamond-Based Semiconductors Take A Step Forward

IEEE Spectrum - June 1, 2016

Dexter Johnson


Diamond-Based Semiconductors Take A Step Forward

Is the potential of diamond as a semiconductor now being realized? That’s certainly the case if we believe the praise being heaped upon the precious stone by companies such as AKHAN Semiconductor. AKHAN has pronounced that we are now in the “Diamond Age” of semiconductors.

Why? The superior thermal properties of diamonds, compared with those of silicon, are attracting increased attention. Unfortunately, doping diamond-based devices has proven exceptionally difficult, especially when it comes to producing n-type semiconductors.

Now, in joint research between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at Arlington, scientists have developed a new method for doping single crystals of diamond; it could help diamond realize its full potential as a semiconductor.

Today’s diamond-doping techniques call for coating the crystal with boron and heating it to 1450 degrees Celsius. The problem with that process is the need to remove the boron coating at the end.

Furthermore, while that method works effectively for diamonds that consist of multiple crystals stuck together, poly-diamond structures have irregularities where the crystal structures meet that make them less attractive as a semiconductor material than groups of single-crystal diamonds. Heretofore, if you wanted to dope single-crystal diamonds, you had to inject boron atoms into the crystals as they were grown. Unfortunately, that approach requires powerful microwaves that degrade the diamond crystal.

But in research described in the Journal of Applied Physics, the joint research team found a way to dope single-crystal diamond with boron but at a comparatively low temperature.

As it turns out, the featured ingredient in their secret sauce was silicon. The researchers found that if they bonded a single-crystal diamond with a piece of silicon that had been doped with boron, then heated it to 800 °C, the boron atoms would migrate from the silicon and attach themselves to the diamond. This migration occurs because carbon atoms from the diamond shift to fill defects such as atom vacancies in the lattice structure. When they move, they leave vacancies in the diamond lattice structure that the boron atoms ultimately fill. Perhaps the key feature of this method is that it allows for selective doping that provides a higher level of control when making devices. Creating a diamond with a particular set of properties is achieved by bonding the silicon to a specific spot on the diamond crystal. While this method addressed p-type doping, which gives the diamonds positive charge carriers, it does not address the n-type doping that remains a more troublesome process to achieve. If the researchers are going to make devices such as transistors, they will need to overcome that hurdle. But in the meantime, they are focused on developing a simple device using p-type single-crystal diamond semiconductors. “We feel like we found a very easy, inexpensive, and effective way to do it,” said Zhengqiang (Jack) Ma, one of the authors of the research, in a press release. Ma added that achieving p-type doping is an important step, and might inspire others to find solutions for creating n-type single-crystal diamonds.

Why Diamond Could Power the Future of Electronics

Chemical & Engineering News - May 16, 2016

Matt Davenport


One company believes the diamond age is about to dawn

A well-dressed gentleman sits in the lobby of an upscale hotel in Washington, D.C., holding a black box full of diamonds.

The man, Adam Khan, isn’t a jewel thief, but he is trying to sell diamonds.

Well, lab-grown diamond films to be accurate. Khan is the founder and chief executive officer of Akhan Semiconductor, and he’s trying to usher in the age of diamond electronics.

Khan and like-minded researchers think diamond and its exceptional properties . . .

Chicago Council on Science and Technology Welcomes Adam Khan to Board of Directors

Yahoo! Finance - Mar. 15, 2016

Andrea Poet


Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) is pleased to announce the addition of entrepreneur Adam Khan to its board of directors.

Khan is the founder and CEO of AKHAN SEMI in Gurnee, IL. Khan studied both physics and electrical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and worked with the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory on award-winning research, including co-inventing the Miraj Diamond™ Platform, the world’s first CMOS Compatible N-type Diamond Materials & Devices. He is an R&D 100 Winner, and was named by Forbes Magazine to their 2014 ’30 Under 30’ list.

Khan joins an esteemed board filled with Chicago’s civic leaders, representing research and academic institutions, museums, and industry. They include people such as the President and CEO of the Adler Planetarium, Michelle Larson; President and CEO of the Field Museum, Richard Lariviere; President and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, David Mosena; the Director of Argonne National Laboratory, Peter Littlewood; the Vice President for Research and National Laboratories at the University of Chicago, Donald Levy; The Chief Information Officer for the City of Chicago, Brenna Berman; the Vice President of Global Nutrition and Research at Pepsico, Maria Velissariou; and the Vice President of Discovery at AbbVie, Jim Sullivan.

“We are thrilled to have Adam join our board,” said Krisztina Eleki, executive director of C2ST. “His enthusiasm for our work, and his commitment to furthering STEM education is apparent. We welcome his fresh perspective.”

Khan has long been a proponent of STEM education. Just last summer, AKHAN SEMI and the College of Lake County signed a memorandum of understanding to further workforce and economic development. Potential areas for collaboration between Khan’s company and the college include entrepreneurship training and development, academic programs, training and workforce development, and joint educational programs and events.

Khan first became familiar with C2ST when he presented as part of a program, “The Nature of Nano,” with then-director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory Amanda Petford-Long. Khan remained a fan, and presented again this fall, at a pub science program, “C2ST Speakeasy: A Diamond Age of Microelectronics.” /p>

"I am delighted and honored to be joining the C2ST board. As Founder and CEO of a high-tech company, researcher, and STEM Education advocate, I am incredibly excited to participate & build on C2ST's excellent work with the Northern Illinois community, particularly for advancing youth engagement," said Adam Khan.

C2ST produces approximately three dozen public programs per year, alone or in partnership, on a variety of topics. Upcoming programs include ‘Climate Disruption: What We Can Do Now’ on March 9, ‘Smell and Behavior in Humans’ March 15, and ‘The Science of Addiction’ March 23.

Chicago Council on Science and Technology is a not-for-profit that was founded in 2006, which works to bring together Chicago’s scientific leaders—from academic institutions, corporations, museums, National laboratories and in government—to provide a forum for the discussion of current issues of scientific interest. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, C2ST aims to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantity of R&D that takes place in their backyard.

Your Future Smartphone Might Be Made With Diamonds

Fast Co.Exist - Mar. 8, 2016

Adele Peters


Too bad the bling will be hidden inside your phone, helping to save energy.

Since the silicon computer chip was invented in 1961, silicon has been the basis of basically every electronic gadget, from computers to electric cars. And while it helped transform the world, silicon doesn't actually work particularly well—especially when it comes to energy use.

Silicon runs hot, and just keeping the material cool enough for electronics to work ends up using a lot of energy; in a massive data center, around half of the power footprint comes from cooling. In a smartphone or laptop, the parts needed to keep the electronics cool take up so much space that it's hard to keep making gadgets smaller (Moore's Law, the idea that computer chips will pack on twice as many transistors every two years, and become twice as fast, is almost dead in part because of silicon's heat problem).

One startup thinks lab-grown diamonds—which can eliminate 90% of the energy lost by silicon—are the answer. Because a semiconductor designed with diamond instead of silicon can run five times hotter and deliver a million times more electrical current, diamond chips could make devices smaller and lighter, while also saving energy.

The technology could also avoid a large portion of electronic waste by eliminating cooling fans and heat sinks. "Not only do these cooling fans fill up the landfill quite easily, only about 10% to 15% of these materials are actually recycled," says Adam Khan, founder and CEO of Akhan Semi, the diamond-making startup.

Despite the prices at jewelry stores, diamonds actually aren't expensive to make. "A lot of people say silicon is made of sand, sand is very cheap," says Khan. "Well, diamond is made from methane, which is the most abundant molecule in the universe. So it's really because silicon is so utilized worldwide that the costs are so low at the system level."

Because it costs so much to keep silicon cool, Khan says that it's already becoming cheaper to use diamond (and other similar advanced materials, called wide-bandgap semiconductors), instead. And while Akhan currently buys methane to make the diamonds from an ordinary supplier, it may eventually be possible to use wasted methane gathered from farms or other sources of pollution.

Making the diamond chips also uses 20% less water than making a comparable silicon chip.

The startup's first products add diamond components to existing silicon platforms, replacing heat sinks to save space and energy. Eventually, they believe that designers will begin using all-diamond semiconductors./p>

Khan says that the new chips could also change the type of devices that it's possible to make—like completely transparent electronics. A phone that uses a glass display (or sapphire, like the iPhone 6), could add diamonds to the display instead of using a separate circuit board.

"You're talking about thinner devices, but they're actually more useful in that you're directly displaying images from the material on the glass," he says. "It's not just that we're making existing materials better, but we're also enabling the next generation of design."

AKHAN Deploys 200mm Manufacturing Process in New Diamond-Based Chip Fab

SemiconductorToday - Jan. 6, 2016

After relocating its global headquarters from Chicago, AKHAN Semiconductor Inc is deploying 200mm manufacturing equipment and process in its new production facility in Gurnee, IL, USA (formally opened in mid-November), continuing its preparation for delivering diamond semiconductor based-technology products to the firm's first commercial customer this quarter.

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc was formed in early 2013 as a subsidiary of AKHAN Technologies Inc, which was founded in 2007 by Adam Khan to commercialize Diamond Lattice Technology for diamond-based semiconductor devices. The firm's IP portfolio combines AKHAN's Miraj Diamond portfolio with low-temperature diamond deposition technology developed by Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials.

"The proven, high-yielding 200mm semiconductor manufacturing process is proving ideal for the production of a wide range of semiconductors – sensors, MEMS, analog, power management – that are embedded in the rapidly growing number of connected devices, from smartphones and tablets to cars, home appliances, wearables, and commercial and industrial applications," says AKHAN's chief operating officer Carl Shurboff.

According to market research firm Gartner Inc, the number of Internet-connected devices (now referred to as the Internet of Things) will grow from 6.3 billion in 2016 to more than 20 billion in 2020.

This explosion in connected products is driving high global demand for all types of new semiconductors to power the new era of connected computing, says AKHAN. Industry association Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) noted in its 'Global 200mm Fab Outlook to 2018' that 200mm fab capacity is expected to grow from 5.2 million wafer starts per month in 2015 to more than 5.4 million in 2018.

"The timing for our diamond-based semiconductor technology's market debut could not be better," believes AKHAN's CEO Adam Khan. "By using man-made diamonds at the core of our new chip technology, we are ushering in a new generation of semiconductor solutions that operate at higher temperatures, are thinner and require less power. These are exactly the attributes required for all the products that make up the Internet of Things," he adds.

AKHAN reckon that its diamond semiconductor based technology will enable a new generation of commercial, industrial and consumer products such as flexible and transparent displays that can be used in wearables and thinner consumer devices that last longer. On the commercial side, the firm is already developing new diamond windows for industrial, defense and aerospace applications.

AKHAN's technology is based on a process that uses man-made diamond rather than silicon to produce chip materials. It is a result of the marriage of two breakthroughs: the ability to use nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) films and a new doping process the makes it possible to use NCD as a semiconductor material.

AKHAN says that it is currently actively hiring to staff its new facility, which is expected to employee 100 people in the next two years.