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Ceramic heat sinks

Microcertec specialises in the design of ceramic heat sinks for use with laser diodes. Ceramics have long been associated with significant advantages over metals or polymeric materials for use in laser and opto-electronic systems. Most are electrical insulating, chemically resistant, and dimensionally stable at high temperatures. Aluminium nitride ceramic is ideal for making high power laser diode heat sinks and sub-mounts. With a thermal conductivity of 180W/mK, aluminium nitride heat sinks are far more thermally efficient in dissipating the heat generated by the laser bar – in particular in passively-cooled modules – than most metals and plastics designs, as well as those made out of aluminium oxide. Aluminium nitride has more than seven times the heat dissipation efficiency of alumina at 25W/mK. Both are excellent electrical insulators.

Typical products from Microcertec are precision-ground substrates as thin as 100mm, flat or block-type insulators with grooves, channels or ridges as fine as 200mm machined into surfaces. Using CNC grinding and laser-machining techniques, components are batch produced to very close tolerances – 5 to 10µm. Heat sinks come as bare ceramics or can be thin-film metallised and electroplated for subsequent brazing assembly.

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