A printed circuit board comprises different components and materials. The need to produce high-end PCBs keeps rising as the electronic industry expands. The type of material used for a circuit board determines its level of performance. Ceramic PCBs are becoming a more popular option in electronics production. Also, this board is an effective solution for the miniaturization of modern electronics.
The benefits of a ceramic PCB outweigh its costs. This board is more preferred to traditional boards. Therefore, we need to understand the impact of ceramic circuit boards in the electronics industry. This article seeks to provide necessary information about ceramic PCBs.
What is Ceramic PCB?
A ceramic PCB is a board that features ceramic as ita base material. PCB manufacturers print conductive pathways in ceramic baseboards. Therefore, this enhances the performance of the board. Also, a ceramic PCB comprises thermally conductive materials like aluminum nitride and alumina. These materials can transmit heat away and dissipate it over the surface. Ceramic PCB fabrication adopts a technology known as LAM technology. This is a laser rapid activation metalization technology.
Types of Ceramic PCB Based on Manufacturing Method
Thick film ceramic
The thickness of the conductor layer of a thick ceramic CB may be greater than 10 microns. However, it must not be greater than 13 microns. The conductor layer is the printed good or silver palladium on the ceramic PCB’s surface. Therefore, a thick film ceramic board comprises dielectric pastes and gold. The paste must bake at 1000°C.
Therefore, this type of PCB is highly preferred due to the high amount of gold conductor paste. The main benefit of this PCB is that it can prevent copper from oxidizing. Also, the PCB manufacturer can install electronic components on the board. Also, the manufacturer can laser trim the components on the board to a desired value. However, this can be only achieved after high-temperature sintering and printing.
The high temperature ceramic PCB comprises raw ceramics. Also, it consists of aluminum oxide, plasticizer, and mixing adhesive. This is the most popular ceramic PCB type. Also, it is often known as high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC).
The PCB manufacturer fabricates using the raw ceramic material and then coats the material. After that, he performs the circuit tracing on molybdenum metals. If the manufacturer successfully achieved the tracing, the boards can bake between 1600 and 1700 °C for about 48 hours.
Manufacturers fabricate this board using crystal glass with adhesive substrate. After this, they cut and laminate the PCB before placing it in a gaseous oven. The oven’s temperature is roughly 900 degree Celsius. Also, low temperature ceramic PCB has enhanced thermal conductivity and mechanical intensity.
Advantages of Ceramic PCB
One of the greatest advantages of ceramic PCB is its heat dissipation ability. There is an efficient flow of heat through the PCBs since the components are directly placed on them. Also, a ceramic PCB can withstand high temperatures of about 350 degree Celsius. Below are more advantages of ceramic boards:
Great thermal conductivity
Ceramic boards perform well in a thermal environment. The thermal conductivity of this board is very high. Also, ceramic as a material has high insulation. Therefore, heat can easily pass through the substrate. Also, this protects the components on the board against any damage.
Stable dielectric property
Since ceramic is the base material of ceramic boards, the dielectric property of this board is stable. Due to this stability, there can be reduced radio frequency loss. Therefore, this increases the applicability of this PCB in electronic devices. Also, ceramic PCB can resist chemicals.
Ceramic PCBs are highly durable. Also, ceramic features some essential properties which contributed to its durability. The toughness of this board prevents it from wear and tear
High mechanical strength
The main materials used for the fabrication of ceramic boards have great mechanical strength. Therefore, these boards have the capability to carry different components better. Also, these boards can support other components. In addition, manufacturers can achieve multi-layering of PCBs due to its great processing properties.
Main Ceramic PCB Materials
This ceramic pcb material is commonly used for fabricating ceramic PCB. This material has high chemical stability and mechanical strength when compared to other oxide ceramics. Alumina, also known as AI203 comprises 96 porcelain and 75 porcelain.
Ceramic substrates can contain a varying level of alumina. Due to this, the thermal conductivity and mechanical properties vary.
Aluminum nitride (AlN)
Aluminum nitride is a type of ceramic with AlN powder as the primary crystal phase. This ceramic pcb material has higher insulation resistance and lower dielectric constant. The thermal conductivity of this substrate is higher than that of Alumina. Also, the CTE of this material matches with silicon chip.
Residual oxygen impurities impact AIN’s thermal conductivity during the production process. Therefore, minimizing the oxygen content can help to improve thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of the production process is more than 170w/mK.
Beryllium oxide (BeO)
This ceramic pcb material has a greater thermal conductivity than aluminum. The temperature of this substrate rapidly reduces when it is more than 300°C. However, it is not really a good option because of its toxicity.
Applications of Ceramic PCB
Ceramic PCB is widely used in the electronic industry due to its unique properties. Some of these properties include low dielectric constant and high thermal conductivity. Below are applications of ceramic boards
The multi-layer ceramic board has been used to create 1 Mbit SRAM memory module. The ability to use this board in extreme temperature makes it suitable for creating memory modules.
The low temperature ceramic PCB to design analog/digital PCB. Therefore, this minimizes parasitic capacitance. Also, it minimizes weight and volume of circuit and eliminates crosstalk interference.
The ceramic board is suitable for creating a receiving / transmission module for radar systems. Also, aluminum nitride features low CTE and high thermal conductivity. This lays the foundation for ceramic PCB in this module.
This article has provided the necessary details about ceramic PCBs and its use in the electronic industry. The ceramic board has more benefits than the traditional circuit board. Therefore, it is greatly preferred for use in several applications.