Technology Properties


Ceramic Technology Expertise

Thin E-Strate® is 3mol% Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia (3YSZ), a high strength, tough, corrosion resistant, light weight and wear resistant ceramic membrane that is thermal shock tolerant (unconstrained) at extreme temperatures. This ceramic substrate is gas tight. It is available in a variety of shapes and production sizes, and the technology is capable of scaling.  Click here for full Material Property Table as PDF.


Physical and Mechanical Properties of Thin E-Strate®

Properties beneficial to: solar PV cells, wear resistant covering, high temperature thin film processing, mechanical sensors, protective cladding, and battery membranes.

Weibull Distribution Bend Tests Show 1 GPa mean (Test on 2cm wide ribbons x nominally 20μm thick)


Data courtesy of Corning Incorporated.


Cross-section of fully dense Thin E-Strate® with porous electrodes.


Bend tests around a pencil with 40um thick ceramic.
Other mechanical properties:

Young's Modulus is 200 GPa.
Density is 6.05 g/cm2.
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) is 10.7 x 10-6/°K @ 1000°C, 8.2 x 10-6/°K @ RT.
Poisson's Ratio is 0.23
Surface Roughness:

Roughness (nm) Sample 1 Sample 11 Sample 13
RMS (Rq) 25.2 24.2 26.3
Agerage (Ra) 20.3 19.2 20.9

Data courtesy of Hysitron Inc. 

Thickness: 40µm -  20µm
Material: 3mol% partially stabilized tetragonal zirconia (3YSZ).
Thin E-Strate® surface can be textured.


Electrical Properties of Thin E-Strate®

For Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Applications, Thin E-Strate® is the perfect balance of ionic conductivity versus strength!  Properties beneficial to: SOFC, solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC), gas sensors, and oxygen sensors.  Thin E-Strate® is NOT RECOMMENDED for high frequency (>20MHz) electronic applications.

This ceramic is a dielectric. At temperatures above 600°C, yttria-stabilized zirconia exhibits ionic conductivity.
Ionic Conductivity: 0.03 S/cm @ 800°C.  Data courtesy of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Center at University of South Carolina

Breakdown Voltage: 40µm thick Thin E-Strate® broke down at 3200 VDC.  Data courtesy of CRC Inc.

Dielectric Constant:  Testing underway but will range between 26-28.

Thin E-Strate® testing in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell conditions:
Electrochemical performance of 3YSZ cell with Fraunhofer IKTS electrodes at different temperatures.
H2:H2O:N2=40:5:55, air, 45µm thick 3YSZ Substrate

Electrode processing and testing performed by Fraunhofer IKTS, Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems.


Optical Properties of Thin E-Strate®

Properties beneficial to: industrial equipment IR windows; transmitting IR heat or thermal monitoring; optical sensing; use of substrate backlight integrated into final devices.

Translucency enables critical alignment of coatings, features and/or devices from one side to another.  This ceramic is Mid-Wavelength Infra-Red (MWIR) transparent and visually translucent:


Nominally 40µm thick substrate.  Data courtesy of CeraNova Corporation.


Thermal Properties of Thin E-Strate®

Properties beneficial to: fast response heaters; flexible heaters, actuators.

While zirconia itself is a thermal insulator, Thin E-Strate® has so little thickness that regardless of the material's thermal conductivity, the heat will be dissipated through-plane, with little if any in-plane spread.

Thermal conductivity of 3YSZ is 2.7 W/m-°K.

Due to the low thermal mass of Thin E-Strate®, heat is quickly dissipated through the thickness of the membrane, while the edge - - only millimeters from the hot spot - - remains at room temperature.
Left Picture: Flexible Double Heater.  Right Picture:  Substrate at rest (left); and under an electrical load (right).

 

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Advantages of Using Thin E-Strate®

Thin E-Strate® for active or passive device fabrication. More robust than silicon.

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 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.

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Industry Applications of Thin E-Strate®

Thin E-Strate® redefines the world of robust flexible ultra-thin ceramic foils.  Major applications include:

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    Solar PV
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    Fuel Cells
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    Electronics
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    Gas Sensors
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    Cladding