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Article | Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne announces new licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor

ARGONNE, Ill. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has announced a new intellectual property licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor, continuing a productive public-private partnership that will bring diamond-based semiconductor technologies to market.

The agreement gives AKHAN exclusive rights to a suite of breakthrough diamond-based semiconductor inventions developed by nanoscientist Ani Sumant of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

With the licensing agreement, AKHAN will be able to exclusively expand the capabilities of the diamond semiconductor platform, allowing for improved performance and thermal efficiency of existing silicon-based devices. The agreement will enable and define the future of semiconductors through incorporation with other next-generation high-performance materials such as graphene, sapphire and quartz.

The licensed patent portfolio covers critical semiconductor processes such as deposition, which is the process of growing a layer of polycrystalline diamond on a semiconductor wafer, as well as doping, which refers to the process of intentionally introducing impurities into an extremely pure semiconductor in order to modulate its electrical properties. The portfolio also covers the formation of circuit elements such as transistors, capacitors and resistors, which are then connected to form complex circuits, such as logic devices and microelectromechanical systems. Finally, the patents include the integration of electronic circuits that are built on a single semiconductor base material or single chip.

The agreement is the second licensing deal between Argonne and AKHAN and represents the result of more than two years of collaboration between the two organizations. Previously, the two organizations combined Argonne’s low-temperature diamond deposition technology with AKHAN’s novel doping process, which has begun to enable the next generation of energy efficient semiconductor devices.

This agreement represents a stellar example of how Argonne is partnering with industry to move our technology into the marketplace,” said Argonne Director Dr. Peter Littlewood. The investment that the American people continue to make in basic science continues to pay dividends in marketable technologies that have the potential to transform entire industries.” 

We’re thrilled to take the next step in bringing diamond semiconductors to the market in a scalable way,” said Adam Khan, CEO and founder of AKHAN Semiconductor. Our exclusive license for these patents positions AKHAN Semiconductor very favorably in the next-generation semiconductor market.”

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Argonne National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit sci​ence​.ener​gy​.gov.