Chinese researchers have achieved a groundbreaking advancement in semiconductor manufacturing utilizing diamonds, known as the "ultimate semiconductor," which has the potential to significantly enhance high-power microwave weapons, radar, and communication devices. The breakthrough allows growing gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors on a diamond substrate, resulting in a 30% increase in power density compared to existing products.

Led by Wang Yingmin, chief expert of the 46th research institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), the scientific team published their findings in a peer-reviewed paper, detailing the superior performance of these fourth-generation semiconductors. The utilization of diamond substrates in semiconductor chips brings forth enhanced capabilities in communication bandwidth, radar range, and electromagnetic suppression, potentially providing China's PLA with a decisive edge in electronic warfare.

China's dominance in the global diamond industry, accounting for 95% of world production, allows for significant leverage in the incorporation of diamonds into semiconductor technology. The falling price of lab-grown diamonds has paved the way for their extensive use in the chip industry.

The current state-of-the-art HEMT chips, vital in advanced radars and microwave weapons, are based on gallium nitride, a third-generation semiconductor material. However, challenges lie in gallium nitride's heat generation during operation, hindering efficient heat dissipation and limiting practical application performance. On the other hand, diamonds not only possess the highest thermal conductivity in nature but also exhibit excellent physical and chemical stability, making them suitable for use in extreme environments such as weapons and equipment.

The methodology adopted by Wang's team involves the direct growth of diamonds over gallium nitride, overcoming substantial engineering hurdles to enable large-scale production of high-quality diamond substrate gallium nitride HEMT devices. This achievement is poised to revolutionize the field of solid-state microwave power devices for the next generation.

While other nations are also making strides in similar technological feats, China's extensive production capacity and cost efficiencies may present formidable competition. Additionally, the Chinese government's long-term investment in the artificial diamond industry has led to the establishment of large-scale production bases with the potential to triple diamond output if required.

This breakthrough has the potential to not only bolster China's confidence in electronic warfare but also reinforce its advantages in hi-tech industries, particularly in communications. Furthermore, diamonds, hailed as the "ultimate semiconductor," hold vast potential for application in emerging fields such as next-generation processors and quantum computers.