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How Does the Ceramic PCB Works in IGBT Modules?

Friday, January 19th, 2024

IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) is a bipolar junction transistor (BJT) with a MOS gate, or we can say that an IGBT module is a combination of BJT and MOS module. Despite its small size, the IGBT chip can control the transmission of electrical energy. It can switch the current 100,000 times within 1 second under an ultra-high voltage of 650 million volts.

What is the Working Principle of IGBT?

IGBT combines the features of a transistor and a switching circuit, making it a new type of electronic component that can control current efficiency. Its structure allows it to achieve current control from turn on to off without generating excessive leakage current, as well as not affecting the operation of other circuits.

The working principle of IGBT modules including two parts – the current control of MOS gate and BJT transistor. When the voltage of MOS gate changes, it affects the conduction of the transistor, thus controlling the flow of current. When the BJT comes into play, it controls the flow of current, so that improve the working efficiency of the IGBT.

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How Does A Ceramic PCB Protect IGBT Modules from Overheat?

As you know, IGBT modules have been applied for many years in various industries such as automotive, industrial, aerospace, consumer electronics, and more. However, optimizing the thermal dissipation of IGBT packaging is crucial to enable the modules to operate at higher power conditions. If heat dissipation is improved, IGBT modules can be used in more advanced applications.

You might be wondering how much heat does an IGBT module generate during running? It’s equivalent to the heat produced by 100 electric furnaces. This substantial amount of heat must be dissipated immediately from the IGBT chip, that’s why the ceramic circuit board stands out.

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In IGBT modules, ceramic PCBs are placed beneath the IGBT chip, or we can say the chip is assembled on the ceramic circuit board. The ceramic PCB connects and supports the chip, rapidly dissipating heat to the outer package. This method protects the chip from the adverse effects of heat.

Why ceramic PCBs Are Suitable for IGBT thermal dissipation?

Ceramic materials exhibit excellent thermal dissipation and electrical insulation properties. Unlike aluminum metal core PCBs, ceramic PCBs do not use insulation layers that hinder heat dissipation. In the manufacturing process of ceramic PCBs, copper foil is directly bonded to the ceramic substrate under high pressure and temperature (it depends on the different technology and different copper thickness). During PCB manufacturing, IGBT and other components are mounted on the circuit board through assembly technology.

Ceramic materials have extremely high insulation capabilities, enduring breakdown voltages up to 20KV/mm. At present, there are three ceramic materials that can be used for IGBT modules, they are 99% or 96% Alumina (Al₂O₃), Aluminum Nitride (AlN), and Silicon Nitride (Si₃N₄).

The thermal conductivity of alumina PCB is 15-35W/mK, aluminum nitride PCB is 170-230W/mK, and silicon nitride PCB is 80+W/mK. In contrast, aluminum core circuit boards only have a thermal conductivity of 1-12W/mK.

Applications of Ceramic PCBs in IGBT Packaging

Alumina PCBs are the most commonly used circuit boards in IGBT modules due to their lower cost. But if IGBT modules have higher power or precision requirements, AlN ceramic PCBs and Si3N4 PCBs are the most suitable choices. Because they have higher thermal dissipation and thermal expansion coefficients (CTE) close to semiconductors. Since different ceramic substrate has different features, the uses of ceramic PCB should depend on the specific requirements of IGBT modules.

In addition, with the development of Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) materials, they are starting to be used for IGBT chips due to their high-frequency, high-power, and high-temperature characteristics. Maybe in the future, aluminum nitride PCBs and silicon carbide PCBs will be increasingly applied to high-power IGBT modules in high-density three-dimensional packaging.

Common Properties of Using Ceramic Circuit Board

  • Excellent thermal conductivity and voltage resistance of ceramic substrates.
  • Copper trace layers has extremely high current-carrying capacity.
  • Strong adhesion and reliability between circuit layers and ceramic substrates.
  • Good soldering performance, suitable for wire bonding.
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How to Solve the Overheat Issues in IGBT?

Though the ceramic PCB is good at heat dissipation, there still some overheat occasions happened if small power or long-time operation. Here we summarized some solutions for such issues.

1. Clean the heat sink to ensure tight contact between the IGBT and the heat sink.

2. Clean the fan, including the fan blades and lubricate the bearings if needed.

3. Clear the airflow path of the fan.

4. Replace with higher power IGBTs, ensuring the withstand voltage is not lower than the original IGBT’s value.

Above all are the information that we’d shared, welcome to contact us if you want to know more. Best Technology is a historic company which has over 17 years PCB manufacturing experience, here you can enjoy the one-stop ODM & OEM service, one-to-one after sales, quick delivery and high-quality products.

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Why do ceramic substrates contribute to the breakthrough of 905nm lidar technology?

Friday, September 1st, 2023

LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging, referred to as “LiDAR”) measurement is a system that integrates three technologies: laser, GPS (Global Positioning System), and IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, inertial measurement unit), used to obtain data and Generate accurate DEMs (Digital Elevation Models). The combination of these three technologies can highly accurately locate the spot of the laser beam on the object, and the ranging accuracy can reach the centimeter level. The biggest advantage of lidar is accurate, fast, and efficient operation.

Lidar is currently widely used in the field of driverless cars and robots. It is known as the “eye” of a generalized robot. It is an active measurement device that measures the precise distance between an object and a sensor by emitting laser light.

  As an indispensable sensor for L3 and above automatic driving, lidar has significantly improved the reliability of the automatic driving system with its excellent ranging capability, high angular resolution and sensitivity to ambient light, and has become the key to improving reliability. A key element of autonomous driving systems, but its application is constrained by cost and technical challenges.

  In the past, lidar was difficult to apply to mass-produced vehicles due to its high cost. However, recently, with the continuous evolution of technology and market competition, the cost of lidar has gradually decreased, thereby accelerating its application in the field of autonomous driving.

In this evolution process, the emergence of ceramic substrates has played a vital role in the breakthrough of lidar technology – 905nm wavelength lidar has become mainstream. Traditional materials such as FR-4 and FE-3 are difficult to meet the high heat dissipation requirements of lidar, while ceramic substrates rely on their excellent thermal conductivity. For example, the thermal conductivity of aluminum nitride ceramic substrates is as high as 200W/M.K. It effectively solves the heat dissipation problem and provides a guarantee for the stability and life of the lidar.

In lidar, the transmitter is one of the links with the highest value and the highest barriers. On the transmitter side, with the rise of China’s domestic industrial chain and the adjustment of the overall technical route of the industry, among them, 905nm VCSEL laser chips and other products have achieved breakthroughs in the market and become a hot topic in the industry.

The “heart” of the transmitter is the light source. Laser transmitter is the core component of laser technology, and its composition includes laser working medium, excitation source and resonant cavity. In this system, why choose a ceramic substrate as a component? The main reason lies in its unique advantages in heat dissipation. Especially for VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) chips, due to their low power conversion efficiency, the problem of heat dissipation is particularly prominent. The application of ceramic substrates has become the best choice to solve the problem of thermoelectric separation.

The ceramic substrate has excellent heat dissipation performance and can effectively conduct the heat generated inside the laser transmitter. The high thermal conductivity of the ceramic substrate allows it to efficiently conduct heat generated inside the lidar, preventing performance degradation due to overheating. In addition, ceramic materials have the advantages of high strength, hardness, thermal shock resistance, insulation, and chemical stability, which can further extend the service life of products, improve sensitivity, and enhance the response speed of lidar.

Ceramic substrates also enable high-density assembly, supporting miniaturization and integration of devices. Its stability ensures that the sensor signal is not distorted, and the matching with the thermal expansion coefficient of the chip ensures the reliability of the product in harsh environments such as high temperature, high vibration, and corrosion. In addition, the metal crystallization performance of the ceramic substrate is excellent, which ensures the stability of the circuit and further improves the quality control level of the lidar.

As a leading manufacturer of ceramic substrates, Best Technology provides a variety of ceramic substrates of different materials, including 96% alumina, 99% alumina, aluminum nitride, zirconia, silicon nitride, sapphire ceramic bases, etc. The heat dissipation properties of these different materials are different, such as aluminum nitride (AlN): thermal conductivity of 170-230 W/mK, silicon nitride (Si3N4): thermal conductivity of 20-80 W/mK, sapphire (Al2O3): thermal conductivity Coefficient 25-40W/mK.

Therefore, choosing a high-quality ceramic substrate not only helps to solve the problem of thermal and electrical separation of laser emitters, but also provides stable heat dissipation and electrical performance, providing reliable support for efficient operation and performance improvement of laser emitters. In the development of lidar technology, ceramic substrates play an increasingly important role, providing key support for performance breakthroughs and innovations in laser transmitters. We are witnessing a revolution in the auto industry brought about by China’s autonomous driving assistance systems.

If you are designing a ceramic PCB and seeking a reliable manufacturer, welcome to leave you message or contact us directly.

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Ceramic PCB is suitable for UVC-LED

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Due to COVID-2019, UVC-LED is becoming more and more popular.

The wavelength of UVC-LED is 100-275nm, 265 nm is the best!

Why UVC-LED is becoming more and more popular?

Because UVC-LED has a lot of advantages for sterilization.

High efficiency: The UVC segment ultraviolet light emitted by UVC-LED generally kills bacteria and viruses within a few seconds.

Extensive bactericidal effect: UVC-LED can kill a lot of bacteria.

Safety and environmental protection (without mercury): The most obvious advantage of UVC-LED devices over traditional mercury-excited ultraviolet lamps is that the germicidal light source does not contain mercury or heavy metals, and is simple to operate, safer and more reliable.

Small size, flexible design, easy installation: UVC-LED devices are small in size, and the sterilization device is flexible in design. It can be used in small spaces where traditional ultraviolet mercury lamps cannot be used. It is more in line with the future development trend of high efficiency, small size and integration.

Why ceramic PCB is suitable for UVC-LED?

Because UVC-LED is sensitive to heat.

Due to the low external quantum efficiency (EQE) of UVC-LEDs, only about 1-3% of the input power is converted into light, while the remaining 97% is basically converted into heat. If the heat cannot be dissipated in time and the LED chip is kept below its maximum operating temperature, it will directly affect the service life of the chip, and it may even be unusable.

Due to the small size of UVC-LED, most of the heat cannot be dissipated from the surface, so the back of the LED becomes the only way to effectively dissipate heat. After years of development, UVC-LED is basically based on a flip-chip solution with a high thermal conductivity aluminum nitride substrate. Aluminum nitride (AlN) PCB made by Best Technology has high thermal conductivity (thermal conductivity 180 W/(mK) ~ 260 W/(mK)), which meets the needs of high heat dissipation of UVC-LED and effectively extends the service life of UVC-LED.

Please feel free to contact sales@bestpcbs.com to know more about ceramic PCB for UVC-LED.

Ceramic PCB for UVC LED
AlN Ceramic PCB

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