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Japan Issues Landmark Diamond Semiconductor Patent to AKHAN

Yahoo! Finance- November 15, 2017

CHICAGO--AKHAN Semiconductor, a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade diamond, announced today the issuance by the Japan Patent Office of a patent covering a method for the fabrication of diamond semiconductor materials, core to applications in automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, military, defense, and telecommunications systems, amongst others.

“We are ecstatic to be awarded this key patent in Japan. Its issuance protects our proprietary interests in diamond semiconductor in one of the nations leading the globe in diamond research,” said Adam Khan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “Following this year’s issuances of a Taiwan diamond semiconductor patent, and a major US diamond transparent electronics patent, the Japan patent issuance is a further testament to AKHAN’s leadership in the diamond semiconductor space.”

Japan, which has actively funded millions of dollars into diamond electronics research since 2002, earlier this year announced marked progress in the development of diamond semiconductor device performance. The AKHAN granted and issued patent, JP6195831 (B2), is a foreign counterpart of other issued and pending patents owned by AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. that are used in the company’s Miraj Diamond™ Platform products. As a key landmark patent, the claims protect uses far beyond the existing applications, including microprocessor applications. Covering the base materials common to nearly all semiconductor components, the intellectual property can be realized in everything from diodes, transistors, and power inverters, to fully functioning diamond chips such as integrated circuitry.

AKHAN’s flagship Miraj Diamond™ Glass for mobile display and camera lens is 6x stronger, 10x harder, and runs over 800x cooler than leading glass competitors like Gorilla Glass by coating standard commercial glass such as aluminosilicate, BK7, and Fused Silica with lab-grown nanocrystalline diamond. Diamond-based technology is capable of increasing power density as well as creating faster, lighter, and simpler devices for consumer use. Cheaper and thinner than its silicon counterparts, diamond-based electronics could become the industry standard for energy efficient electronics.

“This patent adds to the list of other key patents in the field of Diamond Semiconductor that are owned by the company, including the ability to fabricate transparent electronics, as well as the ability to form reliable metal contacts to diamond semiconductor systems,” said Carl Shurboff, President and Chief Operating Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “This patent bolsters the supporting evidence of AKHAN’s leadership in manufacturing diamond semiconductor products, and supports ongoing efforts with our major defense, aerospace and space system development partners.”

Raja M. Parvez Joins AKHAN Semiconductor Board of Directors

Yahoo! Finance- June 6, 2017

CHICAGO--AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc., a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade diamonds, announced today that Raja M. Parvez has joined the company’s Board of Directors as an Executive Technology Advisor. He will be working closely with the executive management team out of AKHAN’s global headquarters, located in Gurnee, Illinois. Raja joins AKHAN from his current roles as Managing Director and Venture Partner at Energy Foundry and KB Partners, where his focus is on new investment opportunities in semiconductor, advanced materials, optoelectronics, lithium-ion batteries and renewable energy industries.

Prior to this role, Raja has successfully led public and private corporations in the United States, Asia, Mexico and Israel. Most recently, Raja was CEO and President of Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN), a sapphire crystal growth manufacturer, where he led a successful hands-on turnaround from significant operating losses to sustained profitability and a successful IPO in 18 months. As President of Optigain, Inc., a manufacturer of fiber amplifiers for communications systems, he spearheaded operational and strategic initiatives leading to a five-fold increase in revenues. The company was acquired by Furukawa Electric (TYO 5801). As COO at CyOptics, Inc., a start-up located in Israel, established the infrastructure to manufacture robust optical chip components. He collaborated with others on successful rounds of venture financing and key strategic acquisitions. The company was acquired by Avago Technologies, Inc., (AVGO). Raja spent sixteen years at Lucent Technologies - Bell Laboratories, most recently as Consulting Member and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff.

“Having demonstrated success with related and comparable materials and technology, Raja adds immense value to the AKHAN brand, as well as the future direction of the company, particularly as we begin to deploy our Miraj Diamond™ Glass products and accelerate development of our Miraj Diamond™ Electronics portfolio offerings,” said Adam Khan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AKHAN. “We look forward to him joining our team.”

Carl Shurboff, President and Chief Operating Officer of AKHAN continued “With over 30 years of experience in leading and cultivating new products, processes and customer relations as well as all facets of R&D, Engineering, and business operations, Raja’s illustrious career and extensive background knowledge will be an invaluable asset to our company moving forward.”

Raja earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Peshawar and MSs in Management Science and Industrial Engineering, both from New York University. He was a Midwest Region Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and received the outstanding CEO of the Year Award from Cross Atlantic Capital Partners.

AKHAN gains ex-Motorola veteran as sales advisor to the board

Semiconductor Today- May 17, 2017

AKHAN Semiconductor Inc of Gurnee, IL, USA, which specializes in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade nanocrystalline (NCD)-based materials & devices for semiconductor and electronic applications, says that Jeffrey Miller has joined it as sales advisor to the board.

Miller was most recently Motorola Mobility LLC’s corporate VP & general manager of North American Sales and Operations based in Chicago, managing the firm’s multi-billion dollar North American P&L, including oversight of business relationships with wireless operators and retailers, while handling global technical sales, and program management. He also currently serves on the board of directors for 1871, Chicago’s start-up incubator.

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this key patent in the field of diamond based semiconductor. We believe that the claims in this patent will play an important role in incorporating diamond semiconductor materials in today and the next generation of electronics systems,” said Adam Khan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “This patent originates from a filing in 2012, and is a testament to our leadership in the diamond semiconductor space.”

Previously, Miller served in several general management positions and was responsible for leading Motorola’s Enterprise market segment, Global Strategic Accounts Program and served as the leader of Motorola’s Global eCommerce business.

Prior to these roles, Miller spent five years as executive VP of sales & marketing of Santa Barbara, CA-based start-up Somera Communications, which he took public in 1999. Before Somera, Miller worked at Motorola Inc from 1996-1999, leading sales, engineering and deployment teams within the Cellular Infrastructure Group. He also has more than 10 years of experience at AT&T, holding leadership positions in sales management, marketing and product management.

“With over 25 years of experience in the consumer hardware and telecommunications industries with Fortune 500 and start-up companies, Jeff’s distinguished career and track record for meeting business growth targets through strategic partnerships will be an asset to our company, particularly as we begin the launch of our Miraj Diamond Glass products for Consumer businesses,” says founder & CEO Adam Khan. “Having worked on several successful programs previously with Jeff, both myself and the other Motorola alumni on the AKHAN team look forward to continuing that success at AKHAN working alongside Jeff,” adds president & chief operating officer Carl Shurboff.

Diamond in the Rough: Precious Gem Coating May Protect Smartphone Screens

Scientific American- April 7, 2017

Morgan Peck


People cherish diamonds for their beauty and the sense of status and permanence they convey to the wearer, but someday soon these most precious of stones may serve an even more practical purpose than filling out engagement rings and anniversary pendants: protecting smartphone displays from the chips and spider web–like cracks that develop after countless drops and hours of tapping and swiping.

Unlike the nuggets mined from deep in Earth’s crust, display-screen diamonds would be grown in the lab of AKHAN Semiconductor, a company developing ways to use synthetic diamonds to enhance electronics. By the end of the year AKHAN plans to begin making glass smartphone screens coated with a microns-thick layer of diamond, which the company says will be more scratch-resistant and less prone to shattering. The company will not say, however, which smartphone makers might use its Miraj Diamond Glass or how it would keep the cost of those screens affordable.

Regardless of whether AKHAN delivers, the idea of using diamonds to solve the widespread problem of cracked smartphone screens bears scrutiny. A Motorola study from a couple of years ago noted nearly a third of U.S. smartphone users have handsets with cracked screens and that many continue to use those screens even after cutting a finger on them. Diamond is the hardest bulk material found in nature, and synthetic versions are likely to be more resistant to scratching than the Corning Gorilla Glass used to make most smartphone displays or even the sapphire crystal that Apple uses for its Apple Watch displays.

Despite its scratch and heat resistance, however, diamond is actually a very brittle material. “If you put enough stress on it, it will break and cleave along the weakest planes,” says Jim Butler, a consultant in chemical vapor deposition who spent 38 years as a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory. Nor would a diamond coating necessarily protect the underlying glass screen from a drop that creates a blunt force into the screen or along its edges. At that point you’re back to counting on the strength of the glass or whatever material is used to make the original display screen, says Anthony Schiavo, an analyst with technology research firm Lux Research who specializes in advanced materials.

TAlthough screens coated with synthetic diamonds are expected to be more shatterproof than existing smartphone screens, their actual strength depends entirely on the way they are made. The process—known as chemical vapor deposition—involves dusting a substrate, such as a piece of glass, with a layer of fine diamond particulates made up of hydrogen–carbon bonds. The diamond-coated glass is then put into a chamber with a combination of hydrogen and a carbon-rich gas such as methane. The next step is to blast the hydrocarbon gas mixture with heat or subject it to an electromagnetic field until it turns into a plasma of carbon atoms and positively charged hydrogen ions. Under these conditions the diamond particles’ carbon–hydrogen bonds begin to break. A continuous diamond film forms as the hydrogen atoms in the diamond particulates are replaced with carbon atoms from the plasma. Structural defects can be introduced during the process due to variations in temperature or the size of the original diamond particles that determine the physical properties of the end product. Making a more shatterproof diamond film would require tweaking these variables.

As the diamond fragments come together, bonds between the carbon and hydrogen are being made or broken at a furious rate, which pumps energy into the diamond film and generates heat. “The optimal temperatures for growing diamond tend to be above 600 degrees centigrade [Celsius] and, depending on the situation, can be as high as 1,200,” Butler says. Diamond, which is extremely good at dissipating heat, stands up just fine in this extreme environment. Unfortunately, the underlying glass begins to melt at about 550 degrees Celsius.

AKHAN founder Adam Khan claims his company can make a synthetic diamond film at temperatures of 350 degrees C or lower. Butler is skeptical, pointing out the glass and its diamond coating will have different reactions even at those temperatures. “If you’re going to put diamond on something and that something is going to go through temperature cycles, there’s going to be a stress between the coating and the substrate,” he says. Such stresses are enough to crack quartz, which is considerably harder than glass. That challenge can be solved, he adds, “but it’s not a trivial problem.”

AKHAN’s ability to solve such problems will determine whether diamonds end up being a smartphone user’s best friend—or just another way for Apple, Samsung and other device makers to justify driving up the cost of their handsets.

Smartphones With Diamond Screens May Be a Reality by the End of 2017

NDTV- February 9, 2017

Ketan Pratap


Your smartphone screen may feature a tempered glass cover but it doesn't guarantee being shatter-proof. One of the worst nightmares of the modern age is to end up with a phone with a cracked display, but this might change by the end of 2017. A company that manufactures diamonds for use in electronic products claims that a commercial device with diamond used in the screen can be expected by end of 2017.

CNET cites Adam Khan, CEO of Akhan Semiconductor, who claims that screen made of diamond glass will be stronger, harder, and cleaner than the solutions available as of now. Khan calls the diamond glass as "Mirage Diamond Glass" and confirms that the company is in talks with multiple smartphone vendors. The company is reportedly choosing just one smartphone company at the moment. Similarly, Akhan Semiconductor, the company that grows diamonds for electronic use, adds that it is also working with a wearable company.

The report says that the decision to limit smartphone vendors is "partly due to supply and partly to give the winning device maker something exclusive to boast about." Akhan Semiconductor plans to make diamond glass for roughly 10 to 30 million handsets when "it ramps up production", and less than 1 million screens for use in wearables. Khan further adds that use of diamond on top of a regular glass or Gorilla Glass will make it 6 times stronger and 10 times harder. Apart from breaking capability, Khan also points that use of diamond will also help keep a device temperature in check, "both on the screen and at the semiconductor level."

Similar to other splash proof solutions, the diamond glass will also increase the overall pricing of the product. Khan however declines this believes and claims that "pricing will be competitive" when compared to Moto ShatterShield technology used on the Moto X Force.

Your Phone Screen Could Soon Be Made With Frickin' Diamonds

CNET- February 8, 2017

Jessica Dolcourt


A new technology promises to make screens stronger than glass or sapphire crystal alone.

This isn't a pair of Tiffany earrings or an engagement ring. By the end of 2017, you'll be able to buy a smartphone, watch or fitness band with a screen made with diamond. Yep, diamond.

You may have heard of gadgets made with sapphire crystal before (like the the 128GB version of HTC's U Ultra and 2014's Kyocera Brigadier). Adam Khan, CEO of Akhan Semiconductor, a company that grows diamonds for use in electronics, says screens made of diamond glass will be stronger, harder, and cleaner than anything you've used before.

And we'll get them before the end of 2017.

Even after it launches, you won't find "Mirage Diamond Glass" -- that's what Akhan's calling its screen -- on every phone. Khan says that although his company is in talks with major device makers, it's only choosing one manufacturer for phones, one for wearables, and so on. That's partly due to supply and partly to give the winning device maker something exclusive to boast about.

"Screen technology is extremely marketable," said Ben Stanton, an analyst with Canalys. "And most smartphone vendors are struggling to find a point of differentiation for their devices, especially in hardware."

Akhan Semiconductor plans to make enough diamond glass for between 10 and 30 million phones once it ramps up production, and fewer than 1 million screens for wearables like smartwatches and fitness bands. For comparison, Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones this past fiscal quarter alone (it ended in December 31, 2016).

So expect a diamond glass screen to come to a phone from a smaller manufacturer, or perhaps a more specialty device, perhaps a model variation like HTC's choice to give its highest-storage U Ultra a sapphire crystal display. .

So why diamond? Despite advances in glass durability, screens still split on impact or form cracks and scratches after repeated drops and contact with everyday items like your keys.

Diamond is one of the strongest substances on Earth. So depositing it onto glass toppers -- like Gorilla Glass or "regular", unstrengthened glass -- will make them 6 times stronger and 10 times harder than they would be alone, Khan added.

Diamond crystal's innate hardness also helps resist grime and water, so it won't gunk up as much or sustain water damage.But strength and toughness are only two of a diamond display's promising properties. It can also help keep electronics cooler to the touch, both on the screen and at the semiconductor level (so the processors are less likely to overheat), Khan said.

How much cooler? Over 800 times cooler during use than the usual materials, allegedly. That would make VR and AR systems much more comfortable to wear up against your face.

Diamond glass versus sapphire crystal

Diamond isn't alone in being an exotic foray into the making of more durable devices. Lab-grown sapphire crystal -- which is clear and not deep blue like the trademark stone -- has long been prized in aerospace, photography and watchmaking for its hardness and strength. Sapphire crystal is still used on phone screens like that HTC U Ultra I mentioned and luxe brand Vertu, though it's more often found in smaller camera lenses, like on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

But diamond glass may have the advantage. Nano-crystalline diamond is less brittle than sapphire crystal, Khan said, because it can be flexed to greater degrees. And since it can be grown in very thin layers on a large area, it may also be cheaper to produce. Not everyone is as gung ho on diamond or sapphire crystals as the smarter step forward. "The problem with crystals is that they are strong except on their crystal planes," said Jeff Evenson, chief strategy officer of Gorilla Glass-maker Corning, referring to the way that the atoms line up. The fact that a crystal's surface can shear off is how a diamond cutter can shape facets out of a substance as hard as a diamond, Evenson added. When you cut a shape, the energy propagates along a plane and cleaves the material. This might be a diamond glass surface's Achilles' heel. "To make them thin and big also makes them easy to break," Evenson said. "When we've tested sapphire for drops, that's what we see happening." Corning has used sapphire crystal in military and aerospace products since the 1960s.

Cheap and plentiful? Maybe not

Still, diamond glass will always cost more than the typical toppers, like standard glass or a chemically strengthened material like Gorilla Glass. As with sapphire crystal, making enough of it to go around will also be a problem. "Any new display technology needs to be implementable on hundreds of millions of devices in a short space of time," said Stanton. "This is something Corning does impressively well [with Gorilla Glass]. But would be difficult for a less established company." Pricing will be competitive to the Moto ShatterShield technology used in the Moto Z Force Droid and Droid Turbo 2, said Khan, who described Moto's tech as a plastic hard coat over the LED display. (Moto's site describes it as a "five-layer protection system"). Right now, the ShatterShield display module costs the phone-maker between $40 and $120 per phone, Khan said. While Moto declined to comment, you can buy a replacement ShatterShield lens for $30. (A Moto spokesperson said, "Unfortunately, our agreements preclude us from sharing the prices of our components.")

Like ShatterShield, sapphire crystal and Gorilla Glass before it, the promise of a diamond display has everything to do with keeping the phone screen intact after inevitable falls -- and without having to buy a glass screen protector on top of it. But before you get too excited, keep in mind that these things don't always work out as planned. Take Apple's supplier of sapphire crystal, GT Advanced, which filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after its relationship with Apple tanked. The company has since emerged from bankruptcy, and is "excited about our market opportunities," it said in a statement last March. Nobody wants to see scratches on their brand-new phone, Khan said. Or pay a company or independent repairer more to fix it. "People are tired of shelling out $129 dollars when they drop their phone and it cracks," Khan said. Is diamond the solution? If Khan's company hits its target, we'll soon find out.

AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. Issued Key Global Patent

Yahoo! Finance- February 2, 2017

CHICAGO -- AKHAN, a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of lab-grown, electronics-grade diamonds, announced today the issuance by the Taiwan Patent Office, of a patent that covers a method for the fabrication of diamond semiconductor materials, ubiquitous in application for automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, military, defense, and telecommunications systems, amongst others.

This patent (I557776) is a foreign counterpart of other issued and pending patents (including US Patent Application #61/513,569) owned by AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. that are used in the company’s Miraj Diamond™ Platform products. As a key landmark patent, the claims protect uses far beyond the existing applications, including microprocessor applications. Covering the base materials common to nearly all semiconductor components, the intellectual property can be realized in everything from diodes, transistors, and power inverters, to fully functioning diamond chips such as integrated circuitry.

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this key patent in the field of diamond based semiconductor. We believe that the claims in this patent will play an important role in incorporating diamond semiconductor materials in today and the next generation of electronics systems,” said Adam Khan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. “This patent originates from a filing in 2012, and is a testament to our leadership in the diamond semiconductor space.”

AKHAN’s flagship Miraj Diamond™ Glass for mobile display and camera lens is 6x stronger, 10x harder, and runs over 800x cooler than leading glass competitors like Gorilla Glass by coating standard commercial glass such as aluminosilicate, BK7, and Fused Silica with lab-grown nanocrystalline diamond. Diamond-based technology is capable of increasing power density as well as creating faster, lighter, and simpler devices for consumer use. Cheaper and thinner than its silicon counterparts, diamond-based electronics could become the industry standard for keeping devices cool due to better internal heat conduction and more battery life.

This patent adds to the list of other key patents in the field of Diamond Semiconductor that are owned by the company, including the ability to fabricate transparent electronics, as well as the ability to form reliable metal contacts to diamond semiconductor systems.

AKHAN is a technology company specializing in the fabrication and application of electronics-grade diamonds as functional semiconductors. AKHAN is headquartered in Gurnee, Lake County, Illinois.