Direct bond copper, or DBC, has been gaining popularity due to its high thermal conductivity and strength. DBC substrates are created by bonding copper to one or both sides of a ceramic material. When the copper is bonded to the ceramic surface, usually alumina or aluminum nitride, the resulting base is very thin and light. This eliminates the need for the thick copper bases that were used for power modules in the past. The demand for smaller, thinner electronics is creating surges in demand for DBC substrates in many different fields.
Direct Bonded Copper Substrate Uses
DBC substrates can be used to improve virtually any type of equipment, vehicle, or appliance that contains electronic circuits. DBC substrates are often used in power hybrids, power control circuits, electronic heating devices, high frequency switch mode power supplies, solid state relays, and power semiconductor modules. These electronic circuits can be used in various applications across a huge range of fields and industries.
DBC substrates can be used for many different applications, including:
- Insulated-gate bipolar transistors for lamp ballasts, stereo systems, refrigerators, electric cars, and many other electronics that use fast switching
- Automobile electronics
- Aerospace electronics
- Laser systems for defense, science, and medicine
- Solar cells
- Telecommunication systems
Direct Bonded Copper Substrate Advantages
DBC substrates have many superior qualities when compared to other substrate materials, including:
- Better corrosion resistance
- Improved bond strength
- Increased heat spreading capabilities
- Higher current loading for same conductor width
- Good mechanical strength
- Excellent electrical insulation
- More environmentally friendly materials
Direct Bond Copper Dicing Challenges
Direct bonded copper substrates must be crafted with precision to receive the full benefits of the superior component. This presents a challenge for dicing companies, as the copper is malleable while the alumina or aluminum nitride is hard and brittle. The combination of the materials makes it difficult to ensure the quality of cuts. Smearing of the copper due to low quality cuts can impact the functionality of the finished product, causing electrical shorts.
Innovative Fabrication Advantage
Innovative Fabrication has extensive experience with DBC dicing. Innovative Fabrication has developed an advanced system for minimizing burrs and smearing during the DBC dicing process. Working closely with clients, Innovative Fabrication has discovered a multi-step dicing process that maximizes the quality of each cut without sacrificing yield. This in turn means higher quality DBC substrates for clients in a shorter amount of time.