A Guideline about Legend on Printed Circuit Board

November 29th, 2022

Printed circuit board is used to power up the electronic devices, and the legend on its surface been known as legend text or silkscreen text to be aim at providing vital information to electronic manufacturers or end users. This post is a guideline to help you understand what information we can gain from those legends and what we need to pay attention to when design them.

A brief introduction about PCB legend

Though a printed circuit board doesn’t require any legend/text to function technically, the text provides key information to end users to test, assemble and troubleshoot, and generally we can obtain following information from the legends:

  • Branding information

This includes manufacturer’s information, serial numbers, date code and other information, which prevents the copying of design.

  • Part number provided

Part numbers are added on the circuit boards to enable replacement or design evolution whenever needed.

  • Version of product

Sometimes versions were updated, and the legend is added on the circuits to identify the specific version and backtrack the date.

  • Reference of components indicators

This may feature components information such as indicators, orientations and other information.

  • Safety Precautions

These are warning signals that are added to protect users from electric shocks. A few examples of these may include grounding, high voltage, and so on.

  • Circuit Identification

Users and designers can identify circuit names from legends to understand testing points, ground points, component interconnect, so forth.

  • Polarity indicator for certain components

Some components such as diodes, LED chips, electrolytic capacitors require to a distinguish of polarity when assembly, text legends help to indicate the right polarity to ensure assembled correctly and perform functionality when reach to consumers.

  • Authentication indication

Silkscreen text shows the boards are authenticated or conforms to certain security certification, such as RoHS, 94V-0, UL…

  • Test points and troubleshooting assistants

Help to correctly perform testing including resistance measurement, voltage measurement, function testing and so forth.  In addition, text legend enables to troubleshoot while issues or debugs happened and repair is required.

  • Component outlines indicating where components should go

Legends provides a great help during assembly process, it helps the operator quickly find where each component should be, so it is recommended to add text legends when PCB need to be assembled.

General Parameters for PCB Legend in Best Technology

To understand the capabilities of legend printing of Best Technology, here we listing some general parameters for your reference:

  • Legend colors can be white, black, green, yellow or other colors depend on customer’s preferences.
  • Legend line width is range from 5mil to 7mil
  • Text height can set at 30mil
  • Maximum text width can be 17mil
  • Printing methods are screen printing, direct legend printing and Liquid photo imaging. (Direct legend printing is commonly used by far.)

Important factors need to be considered during designing

Although legends are easy to be printed, there are still some key points need to pay highly attention when you are designing.

  • Legend orientation: To maintain a good reading appearance for user, please make sure all legends throughout the board have a same orientation.
  • Choose a standard color and shapes for marking, this is a most economy way to save cost.
  • Avoid overlapping: Overlapping is one of the most common problems that manufacturer faced. Legend always be related to PCB layout, and components reference will be also designated when circuit board layout finished. So if the legend was overlapped, it must be moved to another place and that may cause component reference was located in a wrong position, so it is always recommend to double check all the legends, to make sure they are clear and in the correct position when the whole board layout was completed.
  • Do not place the silkscreen text on all four directions, this will lead to confusions when the circuit board is undergoing repair.
  • Leave a few mils space for some common potential printing errors, this will help manufacturer to reduce the possibility of errors.

Every PCB manufacturer has its unique style and pattern when it comes to legend printing, so working files confirmation plays an important role before circuit fabrication, Best Technology gives a great respect to the original files to our customers, we won’t start production until get approval of working files from customers, so please do not worry about it if you have such concerns. In addition, as a professional printed circuit board manufacturer in Asia, we are confident that we can provide you with high quality PCB, welcome to contact us if you have PCB needs.

How To Do Failure Analysis In Printed Circuit Board

October 29th, 2022

Nowadays, printed circuit board plays a more and more important role in electronic products, whether for personal use or commercial use, failure PCB can effect the usage of electronic products and cause a serious consequence. So, how to quickly detect the PCB fault problem?

Here, Best Tech summarized seven methods to locate fault PCB quickly.

  • Use testing equipment

The typical equipment including Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) equipment, X-Ray Fluoroscopy, Optical Microscopy, 1000x magnifying glass. When some failures happen and we don’t know what is the specific position, properly use of these detection devices can help us quickly locate the faulty PCB.

Scratch-on-PCB
  • Visual inspection

Visual inspection is the most common and easy method to position those defectives in printed circuit board. It can identify defects such as overlapped marks, solder joint short, signs of overheating circuit boards, and burned components.  When some problems are difficult to identify with our naked eye, magnifying glasses can help to identify some short circuits, welding bridges, open circuits, solder joints and circuit board wiring cracks, component offset, etc. 

  • Components inspection

If the printed circuit board was assembled with some electronic components, we can perform a components inspection to locate the failure. Especially when low resistance is detected between the component pins, it is best to remove the component from the PCB circuit for specialized testing. If the resistance is still low, then this component is the culprit, otherwise further investigation will be required.

  • Power on printed circuit board

Visual inspection is only suitable for checking the appearance of outer layers of the circuit board, instead of for checking the inner layer of the circuit board.  If there are no visible defects in the appearance, you can power up/on the board and perform a more detailed test to determine whether the board is working properly or not.

  • Low voltage measurement

The first thing to confirm is whether the voltage of each chip power pin is normal, and then check whether the various reference voltages are normal, and whether the working voltage of each point is normal. Since the copper trace on the circuit board has resistance, the voltage generated through different parts of the copper trace is also different.  Then you can use a voltmeter or multimeter to measure the voltage between different parts along a short. If you find that the voltage value is getting smaller and smaller, you are getting closer to find out a short circuit.

For a simple example, when a typical silicon triode is on, the BE junction voltage is around 0.7V, while the CE junction voltage is around 0.3V or less.  If the BE junction voltage of a triode is greater than 0.7V (except for special triode, such as the Darlington tube), the BE junction may be open.

  • Touch circuit board with your finger

In general, when some failure happened, some areas on the circuit board will be getting more and more heat. In this time, we can try to touch the circuit board with fingers to find out areas with heat, and it will help us to pinpoint the problem. However, be careful to use short-circuit copper trace power supply and avoid burns or electric shock.

  • Repair short/open

After identifying a short or open circuit on the PCB, the next step is to isolate the problem.  While this is easy to do on the outer surface of the board, it is a challenge for the inner layers.  Possible solutions include drilling through holes or cutting appropriate external copper traces.

This is the end of this article, if you have more better methods to locate the failure printed circuit board, warm welcome to contact us, we can analyze together.

Why ENEPIG More Suitable for Ceramic PCB Wire Bonding?

October 20th, 2022

There are many surface treatment choices that can be used on Ceramic PCB, but why ENEPIG is one of options we always recommend to our customers whom have wire bonding demands?

In the application of Ceramic PCB, COB or wire bonding was widely used for the packaging technology in thin, short, high speed of electronic products. The Chip On Board (COB) technology refers to a technology in which bare chips are directly attached to the PCB board and then connected electronically through metal wires, namely “Wire Bonding”. Due to gold wire has an excellent electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, corrosion and oxidation resistance, gold wire is often used as a main bonding material in microelectronics packaging.

What is ENEPIG?

ENEPIG, is a type of surface treatment on Printed Circuit Boards and ceramic PCB, the full name of it is Electroless Nickel – Electroless Palladium – Immersion Gold, now it is widely used in wire bonding field.

How does it work and what’s the standard thickness of each layer?

  • Electroless Nickel: Nickel acts as a barrier layer, preventing copper from interacting with the other metals involved in this plating technology, particularly gold. The layer is deposited on the catalytic copper surface using an oxidation-reduction reaction. The result is a layer that is between 2.0 to 5.0 microns thick.
  • Electroless Palladium: Palladium is a relatively stable metal at room temperature, and it is difficult to be oxidized within 400℃. The chemically deposited palladium layer has a neat lattice arrangement, uniform grain size and compact structure. Adding palladium layer between nickel layer and gold layer can effectively prevent the diffusion of nickel layer to gold layer. The Palladium is a layer with a thickness between 0.03 to 0.10 microns, it also depends on the final applications.
  • Immersion Gold: The main function of the gold layer is to bond with the gold wire. If there is no palladium layer as a diffusion barrier between the nickel layer and the gold layer, the gold layer can also bond with the gold wire after reflow, as long as the gold layer reaches a certain thickness. For example, when the thickness of the electroplated nickel gold reaches 0.3um, it can bond with the gold wire. In addition, gold itself has a good bonding ability with gold wire, and in ENEPIG process, due to the palladium layer protects the gold layer from the pollution of nickel, only a thin gold layer (0.03um~0.05umm) is needed to have a good bonding property. This’s why there’s cost advantage of ENEPIG than that of thicker ENIG.
(ENEPIG product)

Why choose ENEPIG?

ENIPIG has a good wiring bonding ability, solder joint reliability, multiple reflow soldering and excellent storage time, can correspond to and meet the requirements of a variety of different assemblies.  Below is a comparison about performance of different surface treatments:

(Comparison-about-performance-of-different-surface-treatments)

Advantages  of ENEPIG

  • “Black Nickel” free — The palladium layer separates the Nickel layer from the gold layer, it can prevents the mutual migration of gold and nickel, so no black nickel will appear
  • Excellent gold wire bondability — the gold plating/coating is very thin, can be used for gold wire bonding as well aluminum wire bonding
  • Palladium acts as an additional barrier layer to further reduce copper diffusion to surface, thus ensuring good solderability
  • Cost-effective than ENIG
  • Lead-free nickel
  • Good compatibility between coating and solder paste
  • Very suitable for packaging components such as SSOP, TSOP, QFP, TQFP, PBGA

Best Technology is a 16+ years PCB manufacturer and we made many ENEPIG PCBs and ceramic PCBs for our customers, welcome to contact us if you have demands on ENEPIG PCB.

Why it is difficult to make different copper thicknesses on different layers for MCPCB

October 14th, 2022

With the development of technology, we need the MCPCB to be multi-layer. 1 layer MCPCB is not enough for making some high-quality precision equipment and products.

So now, 2 layers MCPCB becoming more and more popular.

Normally, we make 1OZ, 2OZ and 3OZ copper thickness for each layer for aluminum or copper core/base PCB. The thickness of copper for top and bottom layer are the same.

But recently, more and more customers want the MCPCB to be made with different copper thicknesses on top and bottom layer.

For example, they want 1OZ copper on top layer and 3OZ on bottom layer.

But we don’t suggest to do that, why? Let me do some explanations.

  1. Different copper thicknesses on top and bottom layer will increase the difficulty for production. Because we put the MCPCB into etching liquid to do the etching, we need to use film to protect one side from etching liquid, but if it can’t be protected well completely, it will be etching too, then it is rejected.
  2. Different copper thicknesses on different sided will cause the PCB twist finally if the stack up is double sided (See below double sided stack up)

But if the stack up is 2L (See below 2L stack up), the FR4 PCB is twisted then will affect the lamination for FR4 PCB and aluminum/copper base.

  1. Due to increase the difficulty of production, so the price will be increased too.
  2. Lead time will be longer than normal since the production process is much more completed.
  3. The reliability is not good.

Finally, it is better to do the same copper thickness for each layer for multi-layer MCPCB.

For knowing more knowledge about MCPCB, please email to sales8@bestpcbs.com

National Day Holiday

September 30th, 2022

Time goes by so quickly, after a short holiday of Autumn Festival, our National Day Holiday (October 1st, 2022) also on its way.

National Day is a very important and special festival for Chinese people, it has a great significance for us, it is not only the birthday for our motherland, also is the great day of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and 2022 is the 73rd anniversary.

On October 1st, 1949, Chairman Mao, officially declared the formation of the People’s Republic of China before a crowd of 300,000 in Tiananmen Square while waving the newly created Chinese flag. The declaration followed a civil war in which communist forces emerged victorious over the Nationalist government. On December 2, 1949, at a meeting of the Central People’s Government Council, October 1st as National Day was ratified by the First National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Chairman-Mao-declared-the-formation-of-People’s-Republic-of-China

Traditionally, there are four mainly customs to celebrate this special day.

  • Decorating with colorful neon light and five-star red flag

Every National Day in China, enterprises and institutions will hang colorful neon lights or five-star red flags with the slogan of “celebrate the National Day” to celebrate it, and the square is placed on festive bonsai and balloons, with a happy atmosphere to meet the National Day.

Decorating-with-colorful-neon-light-and-five-star-red-flag
  • Golden Week

Since from 1999, the Chinese government expanded the celebrations by several day to a seven-day holiday, that is called “Golden Week” similar to Japan’s. Because it is a second-long vacation in the whole year (Spring festival is the longest holiday in year), most of people will travel to other cities or countries, or tourist attractions to enjoy a relaxing holiday with their families and friends, that’s why in National Day holiday, every place is crowded, especially those famous scenic spots or cities.

Many-people-visit-to-Tiananmen-square
  • Military parade

To display China’s armed forces and build national confidence & pride, since the founding of People’s Republic of China, we held total 11 times military parade between 1949 to 1959, but after the reform and opening up, in September 1960, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and The State Council decided to reform the system of National Day ceremonies in line with the principle of “practicing strict economy and building the nation with diligence”, implementing “one-small celebration every five years, one-big celebration every ten years, and a military parade every big celebration”. And until to 1984, central committee decided to recover military parade, so we had a great celebration for our motherland’s 35th anniversary that year. (The last military parade in China is in 2019 year.)

China’s-Military-parade-in-2019
  • Flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen

Although there is a flag-raising at Tiananmen every day in Beijing, the flag-raising ceremony on National Day will be particularly grand, and the flag-raising time is 06:10am Beijing time.

Flag-raising-ceremony-in-Tiananmen

Normally Chinese people use this time to stay with relatives and to travel together. Visiting amusement parks and watching special television programs on the holiday are also popular activities, and nowadays, holding a wedding in National Day holiday also is popular and common by far. In my impression, when watch the military parade on TV with my family and friends in National Day, I feel so proud to be a part of a prosperous nation.

So to celebrate such a great day for our motherland, Best Technology also have a short-long holiday to greet its arrival, and below is our holiday schedule:

Close time: October 1st -5th

Resume to work: October 6th

Due to the holiday, lead time of any circuit boards (FR4 PCB, MCPCB, Ceramic PCB, Rigid-flex Circuit) will be postponed 2-5 days, if any order urgently, please tell our sales reps and we will communicate to get a better solution, thanks for your kindly understanding.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

September 10th, 2022

The 15th day of August lunar (Sept 10th, 2022) is the Traditional Mid-Autumn Festival (also named as Moon cake Day) in China, families usually sit down together to have a reunion dinner and enjoy the delicious moon cake under beautiful full moon to celebrate this important day.

In order to thank all employees for their hard work and efforts, Best Technology prepared handle-made Mid-Autumn moon cakes to express our best wishes and heartfelt thanks to our staffs.

Handle made Moon cakes prepared by Best Technology
Moon-cake in the front desk of Best Technology SMT workshop

All staffs from Best Technology received the tastefully Moon cakes and everyone is permeated with warm and harmonious festive atmosphere. As a member of Best Tech, I felt full of happiness when received the cakes.

The moon cake not only represents the Mid-Autumn greetings and blessing to employees, but also shows the loving care from management for us.

It not only brought laughter, also brought full of touching and motivation to everyone. I believe that in the future, we will cheer up, make persistent efforts, and create a more brilliant tomorrow for the company!

Best Tech is a big family and everyone is a member of this family that we love and help each other.

(Employees in Workshop)

Since the establishment of company in 2006, Peter and Emily have always pay highly attention to the health care and life of our staffs, not only for Mid-Autumn Festival, but also for every traditional festival in China. Different beautiful gifts and best wishes will be always received from Best.

A bright moon and stars twinkle and shine. Here, Best Tech wish all of our customers a merry Mid-Autumn Festival, bliss and happiness, wish you a perfect life just like the round moon in Mid-Autumn Day!!

Also, Best will close for Mid-Autumn Festival from Sept 10-12th, and resume to office on Sept 13th, if you have any inquiry, please contact us.

Why Solder Paste became Dry and How to Solve This Problem

August 18th, 2022

As a One-stop PCBA manufacturer, I believe most of manufacturers have faced a problem of solder paste became dry during SMT process, especially in hot summer, and there will be a large number of defects come out when solder paste was dry, such as poor printing, false solder, components be shifted, cold solder and so on, which will greatly decrease assembly efficiency and PCBA quality.

Do you know why the solder paste became dry?

A serious dried solder paste
Good solder paste

After checking and discussing with our SMT engineers, we found the root cause of solder paste be dry is corrosion, in below images you can see the detailed solder powder morphology of corrosion.

2-a Solder powder from good solder paste
2-b Solder powder from dried solder paste

In generally, the main reason of corrosion is thermodynamic instability of metal, that is metal and its alloy is in a high free energy status than other chemical compound (for example, oxide, hydroxide, salt or others), when this situation occurs, metal will transform to lower energy, which is called corrosion.

Metal corrosion is under the basis of the theory of electrochemical, and it’s required four main elements: anode, cathode, electrolyte and constitute current path.

Now let’s parse the mainly metals in solder paste — Sn, Ag, Cu (or other impurities), then under the action of flux medium, numerous galvanic cells with Sn as the cathode and Ag/Cu as the anode are formed, then below chemical reaction will be happened:

Cathode: Sn – 2e → Sn2+

Anode: O2 + H2O + 4e → 4OH

That is: Sn + H2O + ½O2 → Sn(OH)2

Sn(OH)2 decompose: Sn(OH)2 → SnO + H2O

Then chemical reaction of corrosion of solder powder under the moisture in the air can be described as:

The following figure shows the infrared spectrum of succinic acid liquor before and after soaking the solder powder. It can be clearly seen that the soaked liquor contains carboxyl. Therefore, in the solder paste system, except the oxidation reaction of electrochemical corrosion, salinization chemical reaction will be happened too:

Infrared spectrum of Chemical reaction between succinic acid solution and solder powder succinic acid liquor

So now, do you know why solder paste will be dry? And why it is more seriously in hot summer with high temperature and humidity?

Yes, its root cause is not only high temperature in summer, also the humidity is so high (humidity is 70-85% in the summer of Shenzhen City), flux and solder powder will increase the adsorption of water molecules, and due to water is electrolyte of the galvanic cell reaction, it will aggravate the hydrolysis of flux, stimulate the activity of flux, then finally the reaction on the surface of the solder powder is aggravating, and the vicious cycle eventually changes the physical properties of the solder paste.

Then how to solve this problem?

  1. Warm up solder paste before using

Generally, in order to slow down the reaction of flux and solder powder, as well as extend the storage period, the solder paste needed to be stored in a refrigerator with 2-10oC degree. So before using, it is better to take out solder paste and put in standard room temperature for warming up first. A can of 500g solder paste need to be rewarmed at least 2 hours, to make sure its temperature is the same as rooms’. (Normally that period of warming up time is 4 hours in Best Technology.) Otherwise, insufficient warming up will cause the water vapor in the air to condense and enter the solder paste due to the temperature difference, and result in solder paste be dry finally.

  • Environment temperature and humidity

The best storage temp of solder paste is 2-10oC, but the recommended working environment temp is 20-25oC, relative humidity is 30%-60%. (There’re additional humidifiers in the workshop of Best Technology, to make sure suitable humidity in the dry season such as Winter and Spring, and of course the air conditioner in Summer time to decrease the humidity) Usually, the rate of chemical reaction will approximately double, as the temperature increases by 10℃, so the high temperature will increase the volatilization of the solvent in the solder paste and the reaction speed of flux with powder, so the solder paste is easily to be dry. Meanwhile, low temperature will affect the viscosity and expansion of solder paste, and then will cause the poor soldering. At the same time, high humidity will also greatly increase the water vapor entering the solder paste; However, low humidity also affects the volatilization rate of solvent in solder paste.

  • For those solder paste that became dried already, it is better to dilute with flux provided by manufacturer of solder paste.

In a word, when use and store solder paste, we should pay more attention to its temperature & humidity, to make sure high quality of SMT can be achieved. Pls contact Best Technology if you have any questions or comments on solder paste, or SMT.

X-ray Inspection in PCB Assembly

June 15th, 2022

X-Ray Inspection’s Definition

X-ray inspection is a technology used to inspect the hidden features of the target objects or products. As for PCB inspection, X-ray is commonly used in the inspection of PCB assembly in order to test the quality and find the hidden defects, X-ray inspection is one of the most important steps for quality-oriented PCB manufacturers.

X-Ray Machine

X-Ray Inspection’s Working Principle

Generally, there are three elements in the X-ray devices.

  • X-ray tube—to generate the X-ray photons.
  • Operation platform—to move along with the sample so that the sample can be inspected from different angles and magnification.
  • Detector—it can capture the X-ray through the samples and then transfer it into the image so that we can find out whether there are defects on the printed circuit board.

The Hidden Defects that can be Identified by X-Ray

Since PCB has the higher density with the solder joints hidden and holes buried or blind, X-ray enable us to inspect the quality of the PCB and identify various hidden defects. And there are three common hidden defects that can be inspected by X-ray.

PCB’s Image Under X-Ray
  • Solder bridges—it is a common issue that will occur when the solder joints are so close that they create a connection which is not allowed. And usually, the solder bridges will be covered by some components on the PCB. But they can be easily found with the help of the X-ray device.
  • Solder voids—when gas or flux is entrained during welding, solder voids will be produced, which will lower the thermal conductivity at the solder joint and may cause physical defects. And X-ray can help to  identify the solder voids
  • Pin-hole fills—pin-hole fills issue is a common problem occurring in the plug-in components on the  printed circuit boards. The X-ray device can be used to identify these errors, and can even quantify the missing filling amount.

Our X-Ray Inspection Device

The maximum size of the board that can be put in the device’s operation platform is 510*430 mm, while the maximum inspection size of the device is 435*385 mm. So here is the manifestation of the operation platform’s function. When the size of PCB is over 435*385 mm, the operation platform will move along with the board so that the board can be inspected thoroughly.

And here is a video about operation of our X-ray inspection device.

So, this is the end of this article. In case if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us via email at  sales@bestpcbs.com. We are fully equipped to handle your PCB  manufacturing requirements.

What are the Factors Affecting the Thermal Conductivity of AlN Ceramic Substrate?

May 31st, 2022

The Introduction of AlN Ceramic

With hexagonal wurtzite structure and no other homomorphic isomers, AlN, aluminum nitride, is a structurally stable covalent bond compound, whose crystal structure is AlN4 tetrahedron formed by the dismutation of aluminum atom and adjacent nitrogen atom. And its space group is P63mc, belonging to hexagonal system.

The Features of AlN Ceramic

  1. High thermal conductivity, which is 5 to 10 times than that of aluminum oxide ceramic.
  2. Coefficient of thermal expansion (4.3*10-6/℃) matches the semiconductor silicon material (3.5-4.0*10-6/℃).
  3. Great mechanical properties.
  4. Excellent electrical performance, with high insulation resistance and low dielectric loss.
  5. Multi-layer wiring can be carried out to achieve high density and miniaturization of packaging.
  6. Non-toxic, conducive to environmental protection.
Ceramic PCB

Factors Impacting on the Thermal Conductivity of AlN Ceramic

At 300K, the theoretical thermal conductivity of AlN single crystal material is as high as 319 W/(m·K). But in the actual production process, its thermal conductivity will still be affected, which is often lower than the theoretical value due to the influence of various factors such as the purity and internal defects (dislocations, pores, impurities, lattice distortion) of material, grain orientation and sintering process.

Effect of Microstructure on Thermal Conductivity

The heat conduction mechanism of single crystal AlN is phonon heat transfer, hence the thermal conductivity of AlN may be mainly influenced by the scattering control of grain boundary, interface, second phase, defect, electron and phonon itself. In accordance with the solid lattice vibration theory, the relation between phonon scattering and thermal conductivity “λ” is as follows: λ= L / 3CV.

In the formula, C is the heat capacity; V represents the average velocity of phonons; and L stands for the mean free path. And it can be seen from the equation that the thermal conductivity (λ) of AlN has direct ratio with the mean free path (L), for which the larger “L” is, the higher the thermal conductivity is. From the perspective of microstructure, the scattering can be caused by the interaction between phonons and phonons, phonons and impurities, and phonons and grain boundary.  It will affect the mean free path of phonons, and thus impact on the thermal conductivity.

It can be learnt from above that the microstructure of AlN has a great influence on its thermal conductivity. Therefore, it is necessary to make AlN crystals with fewer defects and impurities in order to obtain AlN ceramics with high thermal conductivity.

Effect of Oxygen Impurities Content on Thermal Conductivity

There are studies show that AlN has a strong affinity with oxygen so that it is easy to be oxidized, leading to the formation of aluminum oxide film on its surface. Owing to the dissolution of oxygen atoms in Al2O3, the nitrogen in AlN is replaced, resulting in aluminum void and oxygen defect. In this way, it will bring about the increase phonon scattering and decrease of mean free path hence the thermal conductivity will be reduced.

Oxygen Content in AlN (wt%)Thermal Conductivity (W/m·K)
0.31130
0.24146
0.19165
0.13171
0.12185

So, it can be concluded that the types of defects in AlN lattice are related to the concentration of oxygen atoms.

  • When the oxygen concentration is lower than 0.75%, oxygen atoms evenly distributed in the AlN lattice, replacing the position of nitrogen atoms. And then the aluminum void is accompanied by it.
  • When the oxygen concentration is not less than 0.75%, the position of Al in aluminum nitride lattice will have a change. Then the aluminum void will disappear, causing octahedral defects.
  • When the oxygen concentration is higher, the lattice will produce extension defects such as polytype, inversion domain and oxygen-containing stacking fault. Moreover, based on thermodynamics, it is found that the amount of oxygen in AlN lattice is under the influence of Gibbs free energy (ΔG°). The larger the ΔG° is, the less oxygen is in the lattice, hence there will be a higher thermal conductivity.

Therefore, the thermal conductivity of aluminum nitride is seriously affected by the existence of oxygen impurities, which is a key point resulting in the decrease of thermal conductivity.

Thermal Conductivity can be Enhanced by Suitable Sintering Aids

In order to improve the thermal conductivity of AlN, the required sintering aids need to be added to lower sintering temperature and remove oxygen in lattice.

As matters stand, the addition of multiple composite sintering additives is followed with more interests. And the experiment shows that relatively dense AlN samples with less oxygen impurities and the secondary phase can be obtained by adding the composite sintering aids, Y2O3-Li2O, Y2O3-CaC2, Y2O3-CaF2, Y2O3-Dy2O3, to aluminum nitride.

In a word, selecting appropriate composite sintering additives can help to get lower sintering temperature and effectively purify the grain boundary, so as to obtain AlN with high thermal conductivity.

In case if you have any other questions about ceramic PCB or MCPCB, you are welcome to contact us via email at sales@bestpcbs.com. We are fully equipped to handle your PCB or MCPCB manufacturing requirements.

Pros and Cons of the Ceramic PCB

May 27th, 2022

Ceramic PCB is used in various fields because of its high-quality thermal and mechanical advantages. The board’s unique features and high thermal conductivity have enabled it to be used in devices big and small. But meanwhile, it is not flawless. There are also some disadvantages.

Ceramic PCB

Pros of ceramic PCB

It is supposed that you are familiar with the features below that the ceramic PCB has.

  • Excellent thermal conductivity.
  • Good insulation.
  • High temperature resistance.
  • Great mechanical properties.
  • Compatible with CTE (Coefficient of Thermal Expansion) of components.
  • High-density assembly possible.
  • Non-toxic, conducive to environmental protection.

Cons of ceramic PCB

There are also a few disadvantages that can be found in ceramic PCB. Some of the disadvantages are stated below.

  • Cost—It has a higher cost compared to other printed circuit boards.
  • Handling—Since ceramic is fragile, it entails careful handling. As ceramic PCB is made for tight spaces, it is very small and this makes it even harder to handle.
  • Availability—It is not as widely available.

Everything has two sides. And ceramic PCB has no exception. But if considering all the advantages and disadvantages, ceramic PCB still takes the win amongst all other boards.

So, this is the end of the article about the advantages and disadvantages of the ceramic PCB. In case if you have any other questions about ceramic PCB or MCPCB, you are welcome to contact us via email at sales@bestpcbs.com. We are fully equipped to handle your PCB or MCPCB manufacturing requirements.