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The key to achieving higher lumens per watt in LED lighting is the efficient dissipation of heat generated by the LED chip. Substrates play an important role here, especially in high-power applications, where the copper and aluminum materials used for conventional FR-4 or metal core printed circuit boards (MCB) tend to cause thermal damage and diminish the performance of the LED.
Traditional metallized ceramic substrates made from alumina (Al2O3), zirconia-dispersed alumina (ZrO2/Al2O3) and aluminum nitride (AlN) are typically used to provide excellent thermal conductivity, high electrical insulation and dimensional stability. These features make them ideal for the demanding multi-chip LED modules, which must be able to dissipate a lot of heat.
However, the use of these insulating materials also limits the number of LEDs that can be mounted on the board. In addition, discrete ESD protection components positioned next to the LED impede the optimum use of the surface area for the LED die.
TDK’s new ceramic substrate, CeraPad, is an innovative solution for solving these challenges. It combines the best features of isolated metal substrates and LTCC – with an unprecedented level of integration for ESD protection components – in an ultra-thin ceramic multilayer platform.
In particular, the patented Direct Bonding process ensures an excellent contact thermal resistance between the metal layer and the ceramic. This reduces the contact current and increases the reliability of the metal-ceramic junction, which is critical for high-power LEDs. The bending strength of the CeraPad substrate is also an impressive 250 MPa – significantly more than conventional aluminium-based MCBs.