Use C-Proto to order your:
Aluminum Nitride (AlN) is the best performing ceramic substrate for electronic circuits because of its high thermal conductivity (170 W/mK), low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), rigidity and dielectric strength. These properties make it the perfect material for high power circuits for LED/laser application, power management, ultra-low temperature electronics, and many more applications.
Thanks to our C-Proto solution, you now have the opportunity to develop, research, test & validate with AlN 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 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.
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 AlN PCB solution:
|C-PROTO DESIGN RULES AlN PCB||Copper (Cu)||Silver-Palladium (AgPd)|
please contact us for alternative metallizations
|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)||0.38 | 1.0 | 3.0mm||15 | 39 | 118 mil||0.25| 0.38 | 0.5 | 0.635 | 1.0 | 2.0 | 2.5 mm||10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 39 | 79 | 98 mil|
|Conductor thickness||35um | 70um|
Please contact us for other thicknesses.
|1oz | 2oz||10um - 15um|
|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 (AgPd), DGG (direct galvanic gold), or GNG (galvanic nickel-gold)|
|Solder resist||green, white, black, reflective white||Glass encapsulant: blue|
|Solder resist minimum opening||0.15mm||6 mil||0.2mm||8 mil|
|Solder resist minimum pad overlap||0.05mm||2 mil||0.1mm||4 mil|
|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||0.1 mm||4 mil|
|Line/pad to edge spacing (f)||0.2 mm||9 mil||0.15 mm||6 mil|
|Via diameter (c)||0.3mm - 3.0mm||12 - 98 mil||0.2mm - 0.6mm||10 mil - 25 mil|
|Min. via spacing (b)||0.5mm ||20 mil||0.5mm||20 mil|
|Via/hole to edge spacing||3x via diameter||3x via diameter|
|Through hole metallisation||Plated through holes|
Please contact us for filled and capped vias
|Min. annular ring diameter (d)||Via diameter +0.4 mm||Via diameter +16mil||Via diameter +0.4 mm||Via diameter +16mil|
|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||+/-6um||+/- 5um|
|Line/Space width tolerance||+/- 50µm @ 35um||+/-20% or 1 mil @ 1oz||+/- 50µm ||+/- 2 mil|
|Misalignment (only for double sided)||≤200µm ||≤ 8 mil||≤200µm ||≤ 8 mil|
|(*) suitable for gold wire bonding (ENEG - Electroless Ni, Electroless Au)|
Material properties Aluminum Nitride:
|Electrical||Dielectric Constant (1MHz)||-||8～10|
|Dielectric strength||MV/m or KV/mm||>17|
|Mechanical||Density after sintering (Bulk density)||g/cm3||3.26|
|Flexural Strength (3 point)||Mpa||～380|
|Elasticity (Young's Modulus)||GPa||302|
|Thermal||Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)||ppm/°C||2～3|
|Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) RT~500 °C||ppm/°C||2.5～3.5|
|Thermal Conductivity (25°C)||W/m‧K||170|
|* Reflectivity test reference thickness of 0.5mm|
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)
- Koper: 8.96 g/cm3