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Diamfab announces €8.7M of funding


Startup specialising in semiconductor synthetic diamonds accelerates pre-industrialisation phase

Diamfab, a Grenoble-based semiconductor diamond start-up, has announced a first round of funding of €8.7 million. The funds come from Asterion Ventures, as well as the French Tech Seed fund managed on behalf of the French government by Bpifrance as part of France 2030, Kreaxi with the Avenir Industrie Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regional fund, Better Angle, Hello Tomorrow and Grenoble Alpes Métropole.

Diamond, an ultra wide band gap semiconductor, is recognised as the ultimate power semiconductor, with a Baliga Figure of Merit score 40 times higher than SiC and 100 times higher than GaN. It will undoubtedly be the material of choice for this new generation of electronic components for power management.

Diamfab is a spin-off from the Institut Néel, a CNRS laboratory, the result of 30 years of R&D into synthetic diamond growth. Initially incubated within SATT Linksium Grenoble Alpes, the Diamfab project led to the creation of the company in March 2019, founded by Gauthier Chicot and Khaled Driche, two PhDs in nanoelectronics and recognised researchers in the field of semiconducting diamond.

To address the market for semiconductors and power components for the automotive, renewable energies and quantum industries in particular, the company has developed breakthrough technology in the field of epitaxy and doping of synthetic diamond. Protected by four patents, their expertise lies in the growth and doping of thin diamond layers, as well as in the design of diamond electronic components.

This first round of funding will enable Diamfab to set up a pilot line to pre-industrialise its technology, accelerate its development and thus meet the growing demand for diamond semiconductors.

"In the development of a cutting-edge industry like ours, each stage is essential. The pilot project will catalyse many discussions with our partners and strengthen our relationships. To be accompanied by investors who are committed to the industry and the climate, and above all who understand its constraints and links, is fundamental. We couldn't have hoped for better partners than those who have rallied around us with Asterion," comments Gauthier Chicot, chairman of Diamfab.

"The technology we have developed makes it possible to reduce the historical carbon footprint of semiconductors considerably, and to do so by relocating a key industry for Europe, which is one of our investment priorities with Asterion. Industrial deeptech companies need calm, long-term support, and that's what we provide," explains Charles-Henry Choel, the Asterion Ventures partner in charge of the deal.

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