materials

Aluminum Nitride (AlN)

Aluminum Nitride has both excellent dielectric strength and a high thermal conductivity, making it an ideal medium for heat sinks or electrical insulators, and the similarities between its thermal profile and that of silicon has made it a frequent choice for wafer-related semiconductor applications.

4.0

Relative Cost of Material

5.0

Machining Degree of Difficulty

Summary

Aluminum Nitride is a staple in the semiconductor industry, and has a wide variety of uses in the Aerospace, Medical, and Defense industries as well. Aluminum Nitride has both excellent dielectric strength and a high thermal conductivity, making it an ideal medium for heat sinks or electrical insulators, and the similarities between its thermal profile and that of silicon has made it a frequent choice for wafer-related semiconductor applications.

While Mindrum Precision has been a world leader in ceramic machining for over sixty years, Aluminum Nitride has become an increasing focus of our business for ultra-tight tolerance work since the turn of the century. The combination of the difficulty of machining Aluminum Nitride is a post-fired state along with the necessity of tight tolerances for most Aluminum Nitride-related applications has created a large demand for our work in this material, and brought us to the forefront of the industry as a machining source for Aluminum Nitride components. Click here for our contact information or to request a quote, and we will show you why more engineers are trusting us with their mission-critical needs.

Applications

Aluminum Nitride is widely used for its thermal conductivity, and is a frequent replacement for Beryllium Oxide, due to the inherent health risks of working with BeO. More importantly from a functional standpoint, Aluminum Nitride has a significantly lower coefficient of thermal expansion than either Alumina or BeO, which allows for an optimal pairing with CTE-equivalent Silicon-based applications. Additionally, Aluminum Nitride is non-reactive with most process chemicals and gases, which makes it that much more desirable for use in the semiconductor industry. General applications include heat sinks, wafer carriers, substrates, crucibles, power transistor bases, and many other applications as well.

Although thin Aluminum Nitride components are fairly straightforward to machine using laser cutting techniques, machining thicker components from aluminum nitride can be extremely challenging for machining companies that do not specialize in this type of fabrication. Due to the physical properties of the material itself combined with its tendency to adhere to diamond tooling, hitting tight tolerances and working in more complex geometries is often beyond even conventional ceramic machining shops. At Mindrum Precision, we bring a superior level of precision technology to bear on your project that allows us to produce the results you need in all materials that we work with, and Aluminum Nitride is no exception. Contact us today, and we look forward to bringing your design off of the drawing board and into reality.

Properties

Material PropertyAluminum Nitride
Density (g/cm^3)3.25
Hardness (Knoop)1170
Tensile Strength (MPa)197
Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)321
Flexural Strength (MPa)362
Compressive Strength (MPa)2068
Poisson's Ratio0.22
Fracture Toughness (MPa*m^.5)2.9
Dielectric Strength (ac-kV/mm)17
Dielectric Constant (@1MHz)8.0 - 9.0
Volume Resistivity (ohm-cm @25°C)> 1E11 
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (1 x 10^-6/°C)4.6 - 5.7
Thermal Conductivity (W/m K)100 - 180
Specific Heat (J/kg*K)780
Shock Resistance (°C Differential)220
Maximum Working Temperature (°C)1200
*Note: Properties vary by manufacturer. The above information should be used for general reference purposes only.

related Materials

  • Alumina – Harder, more corrosion resistant ceramic with similar CTE
  • Macor – Easily machinable ceramic with similar electrical resistivity
  • Aluminum Nitride – Harder, denser ceramic with similar electrical resistivity

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