Influence of firing process quality on dielectric constant of microwave LTCC substrates
Article publication date: 4 August 2014
The purpose of this paper was to investigate the influence of non-uniform temperature distribution inside a box furnace during the firing process on electrical properties of the low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) materials used in radio frequency (RF)/microwave applications.
The authors studied the change in dielectric constant of two popular LTCC materials (DP 951 and DP 9K7) depending on the position of their samples inside the box furnace. Before firing of the samples, temperature distribution inside the box furnace was determined. The dielectric constant was measured using the method of two microstrip lines.
The findings showed that non-uniform temperature distribution with spatial difference of 6°C can result in 3-4 per cent change of the dielectric constant. It was also found that dielectric constant of the two tested materials shows disparate behavior under the same temperature distribution inside the box furnace.
The dielectric constant of the substrate materials is crucial for RF/microwave applications. Therefore, it was shown that 3-4 per cent deviation in dielectric constant can result in considerable detuning of microwave circuits and antennas.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the quantitative description of the impact of temperature distribution inside a box furnace on electrical properties of the LTCC materials has never been published in the open literature. The findings should be helpful when optimizing production process for high yield of reliable LTCC components like filters, baluns and chip antennas.
This work was supported by the Polish National Science Centre, grant number N N515 496940.
Barteczka, B., Slobodzian, P., Dabrowski, A. and Golonka, L. (2014), "Influence of firing process quality on dielectric constant of microwave LTCC substrates", Microelectronics International, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 169-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/MI-11-2013-0067
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