New fabrication method for ceramic components developed

The Microelectronics Research Unit in the University of Oulu have developed a novel method for fabrication of ceramic components. The method opens the door for introducing many new, economical and reliable features for applications in electronics and telecommunications. With the new method, it becomes possible to fabricate ceramic components with 3D printing or directly integrate them as a part of printed electronics.

The new fabrication method developed by Hanna Kähäri has been used to make an antenna from lithium molybdate, whose properties completely match those of a ceramic antenna made in a higher temperature.

Until now, fabrication of ceramic components has required an extremely high temperature treatment in 850-2000 °C. Because of this, it has been impossible to directly integrate ceramic components with temperature sensitive modern materials such as semiconductors and polymers, which are vital for electronics. With the fabrication method developed by PhD student Hanna Kähäri, it is possible to realise ceramic components in room temperature. Fabrication is done by first dissolving a small amount of ceramic powder in liquid, and then pressing it into a hard and dense solid piece.

Astounding possibilities

The new fabrication method also enables fabrication of ceramic components with complex structures and shapes. For example, it becomes possible to implement the desired electrical properties into the plastic cover of a mobile phone by using ceramic materials fabricated with the method. By integrating the ceramic components directly with the other materials in mobile smart devices, there will be fewer separate connections and the device becomes more reliable. In addition, features can be packed into a smaller space than before. The new method also decreases the energy required for fabrication by 15-30-fold.

The core of the basic idea of the fabrication method is the partial dissolving of the ceramic powder. After pressing, the component dries in room temperature to a hard and dense solid piece without change in dimensions.

The doctoral dissertation on the field of microelectronics by Hanna Kähäri on the new fabrication method will be examined in the University of Oulu on 4 November 2016.

The new fabrication method of ceramic components was invented in the European Research Council (ERC) Ultimate Ceramics research project of the Microelectronics Research Unit, led by professor Heli Jantunen.

More information: Electroceramics research at Microelectronics Research Unit

Last updated: 28.10.2016