Ultra-thin, Flexible Ceramic Substrate for Innovating Existing or New Products
Thin E-Strate® meets the need for a new substrate: flexible for economical patterning and moisture impermeable for longer product lifetimes. This flexible ceramic substrate offers a lower profile, lighter weight and increased durability. As this ceramic is inert, there is no concern for out gassing or impurities coming from the substrate. It is 99.9% dense! Surface roughness is 20 - 25nm and the material is easily coated by thick film, thin film and jetting processes. High temperature thin films can be deposited for higher quality and better performance. Download a Product Brochure.
Fabricating a thin ceramic introduces unique properties. The base material must be strong, in order to have a thinner ceramic but maintain ruggedness. The thin ceramic is flexible, lightweight and thermal shock tolerant. The polycrystalline ceramic is translucent, so front side to back side assembly is simplified; circuit area is not lost to fiducials and critical alignments can be achieved. Dielectric strength is quite good for a ceramic so thin (2500 V DC for 20 microns). Low thermal mass allows for rapid heat loss through plane and adding a metallization layer on the release side is even more beneficial. View the blowtorch videos to see this property demonstrated.
Operating temperature range is from cryogenics to 1000°C. Short-term processing of 1200°C is possible to achieve better quality thin films. Thin E-Strate® is thermal shock tolerant and therefore can handle localized temperature spikes.
Inherent properties of the membrane are fully compatible with many applications including wearable electronics, mechanical sensors, medical electronics, microbatteries, solar photovoltaic, power electronics, solid-state lighting, transparent infrared windows, fuel cells, and superconductors.
ENrG is working with a copper foil supplier to offer laminated copper on Thin E-Strate®, which can then be customized (etched and plated) for flexible or thinner circuit boards. Prototypes will be available by Q4 2014. ENrG Inc. is beginning development on a roll-to-roll (R2R) format for this ceramic.
Thicknesses: 40 microns, 20 microns (Thin E-Strate®and Ultra Thin E-Strate™)
Formats all thicknesses: Coupons, sheets, wafers, and short strips.
Formats at only 20 microns: Roll-to-roll (R2R) coming in 2016.
As a ceramic, 3YSZ is inert, of high purity, tolerates processing temperatures to 1200°C, and with its low thermal mass can tolerate high thermal shock during deposition or coating processes.
Being ultra thin from 40 down to 20 microns thick, it presents a very low thermal resistance path for heat removal and a super thin profile for component coating. Multi-layers of active layer coated Thin E-Strate® can easily be stacked into low profile components.