Use C-Proto to order your:
Aluminum Oxide (Al2O3) or Alumina 96% is the most widely used ceramic material for ceramic printed circuit boards and submounts. This is because alumina PCBs have good material properties, including good thermal conductivity, low CTE (coefficient of thermal expansion), dielectric strength, strong resistance to chemical hazards and hermeticity. These favorable properties are in combination with a relatively low cost and more easy handling which explains the wide usage. Furthermore, UV transparency, as well as the bright white color, can also be a benefit in applications where a high reflection rate of visible light is needed without discoloration issues (yellowing).
Applications include, for example, cooling and heating modules, LED boards, medical circuits, sensor modules, antennas, and high-frequency devices.
Thanks to our C-Proto solution, you now have the opportunity to develop, research, test & validate with Alumina PCBs without having to invest in big tooling or without having to wait months for a few pieces or panels of your design. We currently offer a selected range of specifications that allows us to manufacture and deliver a quality product from our Belgian location on a relatively short turnaround time. In case it cannot meet your requirements you can check out our C-Production solution, which has more options, or contact us.
We are also investing in expanding our C-proto capabilities further so be sure to check us out regularly or to enroll for our newsletter to stay informed.
Lead times: On the quote, we show an estimated lead time in working days. In case there are no issues with your design, the lead time usually starts the day following the day of your order.
Note that when you require surface finish it will have a significant lead time effect as we need to send off your designs to a partner company for plating & finishing.
- single units
- panel with laser scribing (click for more info)
- panel without laser scribing
Note: panel X-out: ≤10%
Ordering a Ceramic PCB
1. Quote & Order
Get your quote and order immediately online. No waiting, no hassle.
Anything unclear or still unsure about something? Contact us anytime!
2. Design check
We will check if your design meets our production specifications and make a panel drawing, if applicable. If something needs to be changed, we will let you know.
After the design is ready and frozen, it is off to the factory. This is where the magic happens...
4. Final check & shipment
As soon as your order is made, it gets send back to our Belgian location for a final quality check. If everything looks good, we'll ship it out to you.
Design rules for our C-Proto Alumina PCB solution:
|C-PROTO DESIGN RULES Alumina PCB||Copper (Cu)||Silver (Ag) / Silver-Palladium (AgPd - 5% or 10%)|
Contact us for more metallization options
|Metalization process||Direct plated copper (DPC)||Thick film printing|
|Max. panel Dimensions (a)*(b)||100mmx80mm||3.9" x 3.1"||100mmx80mm||3.9" x 3.1"|
|Max. circuit Dimensions (c)*(d)||100mmx80mm||3.9" x 3.1"||100mmx80mm||3.9" x 3.1"|
|Thickness (e)||0.25 | 0.38 | 0.5 | 1.0 mm||10 | 15 | 0.2 | 39 mil||0.25 | 0.38 | 0.5 | 0.63 | 0.76 | 1.0 | 1.5 | 2.0 mm||10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 30 | 39 | 59 | 79 mil|
|Conductor thickness||35 | 70 um |
300um only on 0.63mm double sided
|1oz | 2oz||16um||16um|
|Layers||Single or double sided (with or without vias)||Single or double sided (with or without vias). |
Please contact us for more layers.
|Surface finish||none, immersion tin, ENIG, ENEPIG (*), or EPIG (*)|
Please enquire for other finishes like Ag or hard gold.
|None (Ag, AgPd), DGG (direct galvanic gold (*) ), or GNG (galvanic nickel-gold)|
|Solder resist||green, white, black, reflective white||Encapsulant: green, blue|
|Solder resist minimum opening||0.15mm||0.2mm|
|Solder resist minimum pad overlap||0.05mm||0.2mm|
|Legend||laser engraving only||laser engraving only|
|Min. line width (a)||0.15 mm||6 mil||0.15 mm||6 mil|
|Min. line spacing (b)||0.15 mm||6 mil||0.15 mm||6 mil|
|Line/pad to edge spacing (f)||0.2 mm||8 mil||0.3 mm||12 mil|
|Via diameter (c)||0.3-3mm||12 - 98 mil||0.5mm - 1mm||20 mil - 40 mil|
|Min. via spacing (b)|| 0.5mm||20 mil||0.5mm||20 mil|
|Via/hole to edge spacing||3x via diameter||0.5mm||20 mil|
|Through hole metallisation||Plated through holes (PTH)|
Contact us for filled and capped vias
|#colspan#||Silver (Ag) Filled vias coming soon|
|Min. annular ring diameter (d)||Via diameter + 0.4mm||Via diameter + 16 mil||Via diameter + 0.4mm||Via diameter + 16 mil|
|Min. annular ring spacing (e)||0.2 mm||8 mil||0.2 mm||8 mil|
|Annular ring to edge spacing (g)||0.2 mm||8 mil||0.2 mm||8 mil|
|Line to hole/via spacing (h)||0.15 mm||6 mil||0.15 mm||6 mil|
|Dimensional tolerance||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil|
|Thickness tolerance||+/- 10%||+/- 10%|
|Hole tolerance||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil|
|Pad to hole/via tolerance||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil||+/- 0.1mm||+/- 4 mil|
|Conductor thickness tolerance||+/-15%||+/-6um|
|Line/Space width tolerance||+/- 50µm @ 35um||+/-20% or 1 mil @ 1oz||+/- 50µm ||+/- 2 mil|
|Misalignment (only for double sided)||≤ 0.2mm||≤ 8 mil||≤ 0.2mm||≤ 8 mil|
|(*) suitable for gold wire bonding (ENEG - Electroless Ni, Electroless Au)|
Material properties Alumina:
|Material - Aluminium Oxide||%||96%|
|Electrical||Dielectric Constant (1MHz)||-||9-10|
|Dielectric strength||MV/m or KV/mm||>15|
|Mechanical||Density after Sintering (Bulk density)||g/cm3||>3.7|
|flexural Strength (3 point)||Mpa||>400|
|Thermal||Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)||ppm/°C||6.5-7.5|
|Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) RT~500 °C||ppm/°C||6.5-8.0|
|Thermal Conductivity (25°C)||W/m‧K||24|
|* Reflectivity test reference thickness of 1mm|
If your are not sure what conductor and surface finish you should use, you can always use this handy tool: What stackup to use for your signal layers for ceramic pcb.
When should I consider ordering via C-proto and when via C-Production?
Answer: C-proto is perfect for people that only need a few pieces (5 panels or less => Please note; depending on the size, several PCB may fit on one panel). And the design needs to be relatively simple with only limited options regarding thickness, finish, and masking. The advantage of C-proto is that you can have your PCB relatively fast and at a much lower cost as you do not need to pay for tooling. C-proto orders are made on a specifically designed production line for prototypes and low volume.
C-production orders, on the other hand, will be made on a fully-fledged ceramic PCB production line at one of our partners which are designed for higher volume orders. It gives you many more options and tighter specifications but the downsides are price and longer lead time.
Where do you make C-Proto order?
Answer: All C-proto orders are made by us (CERcuits) in Belgium.
What is your lead time / production time?
Answer: When you generate your quote, the estimated lead time will be shown next to the cost. Usually it takes about 5 working days to make a design but this can go up to 15-20 working days for certain surface finished and higher volumes.
Note that the lead time is given in working days and not calendar days. If you want to check our working day calendar, check it here.
What are main cost/price drivers?
Answer: For our C-proto line the price will mostly increase with
- Thickness: very thin (0.38mm or 0.5mm) substrates require a more careful and slower production process and has higher scrap rates. This results in higher costs and thus pricing.
- Surface finish: certain specialized finishes (ENIG, ENEPIG, EPIG) are done at a partner which requires shipping/set up and other cost and will increase price and lead time significantly
- Number of panels: Our C-proto line requires no tooling but in exchange the process is longer and slower. Hence every panel that we need to process will increase the cost more significant then in a production environment. This is why we recommend to keep C-Proto orders below 5 production panels (100mmx80mm each) .
Do you have a design guide?
Answer: The design specs are listed on every product page when you scroll down.
We realize that more design help as well as background might be helpful and we are creating a full design guide that will cover most topics related to designing a ceramic circuit. Hopefully we can launch this towards the end of 2022 but for now if you are unsure about something or you want us to help you with your design before you have it made, just contact us and it will be your pleasure to assist you.
What happens if you cannot make my design?
Answer: We will contact you to let you know what parts of your design are outside of our capabilities and we will propose the necessary changes to be able to manufacture it. In case these design changes are not acceptable, we can check if it is possible to make at one our partners or we can cancel your order and refund you.
Even if we encounter a manufacturing issue during fabrication which lead to design changes or cancellation, we will not charge you for the work that has already been done.
In very specific cases it might happen that, even though your design is outside of our capabilities but changing it is impossible, we agree to try to manufacture it anyhow. When this happens, we discuss this upfront with you and we will make an agreement on the costs that are involved.
Can you ship faster?
Answer: We might. It depends on the production schedule. Contact us to discuss this.
How are Ceramic PCBs made?
Answer: coming soon! we are creating made a page about this that explains the different manufacturing technologies. Find it here.
What type of design files can you accept ?
Answer: We prefer Gerber or ODB++ format but can also accept most other vector/CAD formats (DXF, DWG, SVG, AI, ...).
Also 3D designs are possible to be made (.step, .stl, .stp).
And if your design is simple, we can also work of a pdf file or even a simple word document or a drawing as long as you clarify all relevant dimensions.
We cannot work with native files from PCB design files (for example Altium's .pcbdoc, Eagles '.brd or KiCad .kicad files)
Are ceramic pcb heavier or lighter then other PCB?
The substrate materials in itself, both Alumina 96% as well as Aluminum nitride are heavier then traditional pcb material like FR4 or even aluminum 5052 (metal core pcb). However, usually ceramic pcb are thinner (=< 1mm compared to 1.6mm typical) and require less copper (much heavier). In most cases the weight is therefor comparable or even lower. Below is an overview of the density of the different materials.
- Al2O3 96%: >3.7 g/cm3 (typical thickness 0.25 - 1mm)
- AlN: >3.33 g/cm3 (typical thickness 0.25 - 1mm)
- FR4: 1.850 g/cm3 (typical thickness 0.8 - 1.6mm)
- Aluminium (5052): 2.68 g/cm3 (typical thickness 1.5mm)
- Copper: 8.96 g/cm3
OCTO is the online order portal from CERcuits, ceramic PCB & substrates. Learn more or contact us in case you have a high volume program or need different/more stringent specifications.