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Ceramic PCB – a technology that is growing in the PCBA industry

ceramic-PCB-technology-in-PCBA

As the market has evolved, ceramic PCB has become a more viable option for PCB designers. With the continued demand for miniaturized, microelectronic and high-power LED packages, substrates that can withstand high operating temperatures while providing excellent thermal performance must be required.

Ceramics have been widely used in electronics/electronic components for many years due to their thermal and mechanical properties. With recent advances in technology and manufacturing capabilities, they are now replacing entire PCB. since their introduction, ceramic PCB has received significant industry attention as an effective solution to a range of electronic problems. The superior thermal conductivity of ceramics is the main reason why more and more industries are turning to ceramics for PCB design.

What is a ceramic PCB ?

What-is-a-ceramic-PCBA ceramic PCB is a printed circuit board (PCB) made of ceramic material. Unlike most other types of boards, ceramic boards are made with a thin layer of ceramic instead of copper foil or other materials. The result is increased flexibility and the ability to bend without breaking. This makes it possible to create more intricate designs on ceramic boards than on normal boards, which makes them ideal for use in high-tech devices.

How does ceramic PCB develop?

Ceramic PCB is a relatively new development in the world of electronics. It was first developed in 1943 by Dr. Paul Eisler.

Ceramic PCB is an important part of modern electronic devices. They go beyond just being a replacement for traditional plastic or metal boards. Ceramic PCBs have several unique characteristics that make them superior to traditional materials, including their high resistance to heat and moisture and their ability to conduct electricity without degrading over time.

What are the types of ceramic PCB?

the-types-of-ceramic-PCBThere are three main types of Ceramic PCB as listed below:

✦High temperature co-fired ceramic PCB is a ceramic printed circuit board that is used in the industrial field. It is made of ceramic and has been fired at a high temperature. This type of PCB has high reliability and good thermal conductivity.

✦Thick film ceramic PCB is an internal component of a PCBA. The materials used in this type of PCB are glass fibers and quartz, which are subjected to high temperatures during the evaporation of impurities. This type of PCB is used in electronics such as printers, televisions, computers, and other appliances.

✦Low temperature co-fired ceramic PCB is also known as flame-retardant ceramics or flame retardant ceramics (FR). It is a type of ceramic printed circuit board that can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius without damage to the components inside it.

Besides, There are four main core materials for ceramic PCB:
✦Alumina ceramic substrate
✦Aluminum nitride ceramic substrate
✦Silicon nitride ceramic substrate
✦Gallium nitride ceramic substrate

How to manufacture ceramic PCB?

How-to-manufacture-ceramic-PCBThin film ceramic PCB production process :
1. Using magnetron sputtering, patterned lithography, dry and wet etching, and electroplating thickening processes to produce ultra-fine line circuit patterns on ceramic substrates
2. Based on the thin film circuit process, the ceramic surface is metallized by magnetron sputtering, and the thickness of the copper layer and the gold layer is more than 10 microns by electroplating, that is, DPC (direct copper plating substrate)

Specific process: polishing of alumina/aluminum nitride ceramic substrate →magnetron sputtering →electroplating (gold, silver, copper, nickel, etc.) →etching and pattern transfer →surface treatment

Thick film ceramic circuit board production process
DBC: Cleaning and drying of ceramic substrates and copper foils → Pretreatment of copper foils – High temperature eutectic bonding of copper foils and ceramic substrates → Cool and hot step cycle cooling →Quality inspection → Etching patterns → Electroless nickel plating (or gold plating) →Quality Inspection → Laser Scribing and Cutting → Finished Quality Inspection

Considerations in ceramic PCB design and PCBA

Considerations-in-Ceramic-PCB-design-and-PCBAMany considerations must be taken into account when designing, producing, and assembling your PCB.

Considerations in ceramic PCB design:

1. The type of ceramic used for the PCB must be compatible with the other components used in your design.
2. The composition of the ceramic material is critical to its performance in an electronic device.
3. Ensure that all parts of your design are compatible with each other so they can be assembled with confidence.

Considerations in Ceramic PCBA:

To make a PCB, it needs to be populated with components. These components are then connected to a circuit board using conductive trace layers and solder joints. A PCBA is the bottom side of this circuit board assembly.
For a ceramic PCBA, there are several options available such as microcontact printing (MCP), inkjet printing (IGP), digital micromirror printing (DMP), or laser ablation coating (LAC). Each method has its advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered before choosing one over another.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ceramic PCB ?

the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-ceramic-PCBCeramic PCB is a great alternative to a traditional PCB. It is more durable, lighter weight, and easier to work with than a traditional PCB. Ceramic PCB is also more environment friendly than a traditional PCB. Besides, ceramic circuit boards have many advantages, among which the characteristics of high temperature resistance and high electrical insulation performance of ceramic circuit boards are outstanding. . The ceramic substrate used in the ceramic circuit board is used as the base material. The thermal conductivity and insulation of the ceramic are very good, and the thermal conductivity can reach 20W~170W. IGBT.

However, there are some drawbacks to using ceramic PCB. For example, they require special glues that aren’t always readily available. Besides, the board has wear and tear and the scrap rate is relatively high because of the ceramic substrate PCB easy to break. Therefore, ceramic materials are more expensive than traditional materials like copper-based materials used in traditional PCB.

What’s the application of ceramic PCB ?

the-application-of-ceramic-PCBCeramic PCB has many uses and applications, including computer circuits, industrial control equipment, and telecommunications equipment. They’re also commonly used in medical devices. Ceramic PCB is made of ceramic materials that can work at high temperatures as well as in extreme chemical conditions.

The application mainly includes the following:
● LED field
● High power semiconductor module
● Semiconductor cooler
● Electronic heater
● Power control circuit
● Power mixing circuit
● Intelligent power components
● High frequency switching power supply
● Solid state relay
● Automotive electronics
● Aerospace and military electronic components
● Solar panel components

What’s the difference between ceramic PCB and FR4?

Ceramic PCB

Ceramic PCB is a type of printed circuit board that uses ceramic materials to create the circuit pattern. The advantage of ceramic PCB is that it can withstand higher temperatures than other types of printed circuit boards, which makes it more resistant to damage. But the main disadvantage is that it is expensive to manufacture. There are no cheaper options or alternatives available in the market.

FR4

FR4 is a type of plastic laminate used in printing circuit boards. It’s also known as fiberglass-reinforced plastic or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). FR4 has high mechanical strength and low electrical resistance, which makes it ideal for use in electronics manufacturing because it can withstand high temperatures without melting or burning. However, FR4 has lower thermal properties than ceramic PCB does, so there’s less room for error when manufacturing circuits on this material.

How many types of PCB materials are there?

In addition to the ceramic materials we have mentioned above, there are many other common materials for PCB, for example, FR-4 (glass fiber cloth-based), CEM-1/3 (composite substrate of glass fiber and paper), FR-1 (paper-based copper clad), metal-based copper clad (mainly aluminum-based, a few iron-based).

Conclusion

ceramic-PCBCeramic materials are particularly useful for highly reliable electronic applications, which were the standard for isolators and light bulb sockets in the 19th century. As well as in the 1930s the widespread use of radio tubes, early starters and the development of military electronics using high-tech applications of ceramics.

Since then, ever-improving manufacturing technologies have greatly enhanced the material categories, from common materials to new blends and nanotechnology to today’s level of technical ceramics. It is believed that in the future, ceramic PCB technology development will become increasingly sophisticated.

To conclude, we can say that Ceramic PCB is the future of printed circuit board because they offer more durability, strength as well as variety. Apart from that since ceramic PCB is environment friendly too so this is another added advantage towards using a Ceramic PCB.

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