Aluminum Nitride Market: Overview
Aluminum nitride is a technical (dielectric insulator) ceramic material that exhibits a combination exceptionally advantageous of characteristics such as outstanding electrical insulation and high thermal conductivity. This unique combination of properties enables the usage of aluminum nitride in microelectronics and power-related applications.
Aluminum nitride is synthesized by direct nitridation of aluminum. It is also produced by the carbothermal reduction of aluminum oxide in the presence of ammonia or gaseous nitrogen. During the production process of aluminum nitride, sintering aids (such as CaO or Y2O3) and hot pressing are required in order to synthesize aluminum nitride of a dense technical grade.
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Aluminum Nitride Market: Trends & Development
High performance of aluminum nitride in terms of thermal conductivity and electrical insulation is second only to that of beryllium oxide (BeO). Furthermore, aluminum nitride is available at a more economical scale vis-à-vis BeO and does not raise toxicity concerns.
Aluminum nitride is a high performance material, which is especially suitable for demanding electrical applications. Sintering aids, along with dry pressing or hot pressing, is used in the production process of aluminum nitride. This helps the final product — aluminum nitride —maintain its stability in a wide range of atmospheric environments (such as presence of hydrogen and carbon dioxide) even at high temperatures. Application of aluminum nitride in the electronics sector is particularly high, especially where heat removal is involved.
Aluminum Nitride Market: Drivers & Restraints
Aluminum nitride is also used in applications requiring high chemical resistance and thermal conductivity such as high power microwave tubes, terminators, and resistors. It is also used in thermocouple insulators, evaporation boats, grinding media, and crystal growing crucibles.
Aluminum nitride substrates offer more efficient cooling compared to conventional ceramic substrates. Therefore, they are used as heat sinks, circuit carriers (substrates), and insulators for high power semiconductor applications and LED lighting technology.
Aluminum nitride offers high performance characteristics such as exceptionally high thermal conductivity, similar thermal expansion coefficient to that of silicon, good corrosion resistance and dielectric properties, and stability in semiconductor processing atmospheres. Therefore, it is employed in high performance ceramic applications.
Typical applications of aluminum nitride include heat sinks, electronic substrates, IC packages, power transistor bases, and microwave device packages. It is also employed in high-efficiency heat exchange systems and refractory composites used in the handling of molten metals.
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Aluminum Nitride Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the aluminum nitride market include KYOCERA Corporation, Morgan Advanced Materials plc, CeramTec, SIENNA TECH, and Toyal Europe.