Cambridge Nanotherm looks to cut heat in LED lights
Cambridge Nanotherm is launching a new design of metal-backed PCB made from a ceramic dielectric which is claimed to significantly reduce LED die temperatures in luminaire designs, writes Richard Wilson.
The dielectric thermal conductivity of the material is 7W/mK.
The start-up company converts Aluminium into Alumina (Aluminium Oxide [Al2O3]). This process allows the surface of an Aluminium plate to be converted into a layer of Alumina – which acts as a dielectric.
“This nano-ceramic dielectric not only provides excellent electrical isolation, but also has a thermal performance which is much improved over the standard filled epoxies used for conventional thermal management dielectrics”, explained Dr Pavel Shashkov, CEO and Founder, Cambridge Nanotherm.
”The ceramic layer has a bulk thermal conductivity of 6-7 W/mK and can be applied in thicknesses as low as 10 micron, resulting in a thermal resistance as low as 0.012°Ccm2/W.”
According to the company, tests in LED lighting applications show that it offers a 20% reduction in substrate thermal resistance over some of the best available metal-backed PCBs.
In back-to-back comparison testing with other metal-backed PCBs, LED temperatures were seen to be reduced by as much as 20°C, thus allowing designers to increase component density and power or give longer lifetime guarantees.
Cambridge Nanotherm sees its new thermal management material as an important addition to its customers’ material toolboxes – reducing the need to move to more expensive Copper-backed PCBs as thermal challenges arise.
Steven Curtis, Nanotherm’s Head of Product Development added: “We are quickly moving ahead with the development of our next generation product, Nanotherm PLUS, which, by direct metallisation of the nano-ceramic layer, produces an MBPCB with a thermal performance approaching that of Aluminium Nitride (AlN) ceramic tile.
“This substrate material will offer an alternative to those designers who need the excellent performance of AlN in their packages or arrays, but need to meet very tight cost targets.”