TDK Electronics · TDK Europe

Smart Multilayer Aluminum Nitride (AlN)

Substrate and Packaging

For highest power density of your power solution

TDK’s new smart AlN multilayer substrates and packages are shifting the boundaries of high-power devices in terms of power density, heat dissipation, reliability and most compact footprints.


AlN Ceramics

 aln

The main characteristics of aluminum nitride are highest thermal conductivity compared to other ceramics and substrate materials and excellent thermal expansion coefficient which matches with silicon 

  • Efficient heat dissipation and excellent isolating properties 
    High thermal conductivity up to 180 W/m⋅K
  • Lower EMI radiation due to embedded shielding 
  • Multilayer design: smaller and more compact packages and substrates  
    Customer specific substrate and 3D packaging design
    Up to 15 routing layers inside of the AlN possible

Main Benefits in Detail

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Efficient heat dissipation and excellent isolating properties

  • AlN offers a very high thermal conductivity of 180W/m K
    Compared to other standard materials such as Al
    O₃ (Aluminium oxide) or Si₃N₄ (Silicon Nitride) AlN substrate or package could be designed 5 to 12 times smaller for transferring the same amount of thermal power.
  • Perfect compatibility with SiC, GaN and standard Si 
    The thermal expansion coefficient of AlN is very close to the thermal expansion coefficient of SiC, GaN and standard silicon. Therefore, optimal mechanical and thermal long-term bonding between these materials achieved.
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Lower EMI radiation due to embedded shielding

  • EMI measures directly inside the substrate
    By using multilayer architecture EMI shielding layers can be applied directly inside the substrate.
  • Reduce external filter effort to a minimum
    By applying perfect shielding exactly where EMI is generated the external filter effort could be reduced to a minimum or dispensed completely. 
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Smaller and more compact packages and substrates

  • Multilayer architecture for higher power density, smaller footprints and minimized loop inductance 
    For minimizing the footprint and loop inductance up to 15 routing layers inside the AlN substrate or package is possible. This enables optimizing your layout and shorten electrical contacts.
  • Maximize the switching frequency and minimize system costs 
    Short electrical
    contacting lead to much smaller parasitic influence and allow much higher switching frequencies. A nice side effect of this is the usage of much smaller passive components and therefore lower system costs.

Heat Dissipation and Footprint

Standard materials of ceramic substrates are Aluminum oxide, Silicon nitride and Aluminum nitride. One major difference between these substrates is the thermal conductivity. Showing the example of a heat source with a temperature difference of 150 °C and a power 16.5 W, the needed footprint indicates the big difference between these materials.

Al₂O₃

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Si₃N₄

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AlN

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Given a width of 3 mm, a ceramic thickness of 1 mm and a top and bottom copper galvanization/finish of 0.1 mm one can see in this representation the different heat spreads for AlN, Si₃N₄ and Al₂O₃. While the high thermal conductor AlN performs a very local dissipation of heat in spherical direction, weak thermally conducting ceramics like Si₃N₄ or Al₂O₃ dissipate the produced heat over a larger area. For Al₂O₃ the heat first is transferred within the copper layer horizontally due to its excellent thermal conductance and only when it reaches the limits the heat dissipates vertically through the ceramic. This is in strong contrast to the results from AlN.


 Footprint Pic

Due to this physical properties AlN allows a much smaller footprint than other substrates:

  • 5 × smaller compared to Si₃N₄ or
  • Even 12 × smaller compared to Al₂O₃

The smaller footprint results in lower loop-inductance. Thus, the design can be operated at higher frequencies, which allows the use of smaller passive components and thus reduces system costs. 


Overall Reduction of Costs

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The usage of AlN combined with SiC could lower your system costs by 12 percent compared to standard SiC architecture and even 26 percent compared to Si architecture.

  • Smaller enclosure
  • Lower effort for thermal management
  • Lower effort for EMI filtering
  • Smaller passive components due to higher switching frequencies

Suitable for many Industries

Our AlN packages and substrates are suitable for:

 Power Electronics
 Traction Inverters
 VCSEL modules
 PV inverters
 High-power converters
 High-power LEDs
 Automotive xEV
 AR-VR optical engines

Material Properties

Ceramics 

Single layer or multilayer aluminum nitride (AlN)

Thermal conductivity at 25 °C 

170-180 W/m⋅K 

Tensile stress limit (bending strength) 

450-500 MPa 

Young’s modulus 

320 GPa 

Thermal expansion coefficient 

4.7 ppm/K 

Dielectric constant 

~ 8.7 

Volume resistivity (200 °C) 

1013 Ω cm

Dielectric strength / breakdown voltage 

>30 kV/mm 

Loss factor (tan delta) 

2.0 ⋅ 10-4 


Design Rules

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AlN Design Rules

For customizing your individual AlN substrate or package we have prepared some design rules helping you minimizing the number of development cycles for much faster product releases.

PDF - 710.8 KB Download

AlN at a Glance


TDK – Your Reliable Partner

Expertise

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Technology

  • We develop multilayer (and monolithic) customer-specific Aluminum Nitride (AlN) packages & substrates for the semiconductors and power industry.
  • The secret behind it is a ceramic substrate which enables wide-band gap semiconductor, VCSEL and LED manufacturers to design their products smaller with higher power density.

Production

  • These customer specific developed AlN designs were produced and manufactured directly in the same plant in Europe.
  • Including the whole process chain and infrastructure for mass production.

Engineering

  • AlN packages & substrates is not a conventional product, but a service respectively a system and solution.
  • We offer design rules for fast and easy design.
  • We have a team of engineers optimizing your design and bringing out the best power/costs solution.

Quality from Europe

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TDK is a market leader in passive components. We can even equip and optimize the power module with NTC thermistors and ceramic capacitors.

Everything from one hand, tested, verified and release for further steps produced and developed in the heart of Europe. 


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