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Integrated Power Electronics Using a Ferrite Based Low-Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic Materials System

Copyright © 2010 IEEE. Reprinted with permission from 2010 Electronic Components and Technology Conference.

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   Alex Roesler, Josh Schare and Chat Hettler, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
   David Abel, George Slama and Daryl Schofield, NASCENTechnology, Watertown, SD
   2010 Electronic Components and Technology Conference

This paper discusses a new approach to making hybrid power electronic circuits by combining a low-temperature (850 °C - 950 °C) co-fired ceramic (LTCC) substrate, planar LTCC ferrite transformers/inductors and integrated passive components into a multilayer monolithic package using a ferrite-based LTCC material system. A ferrite tape functions as the base material for this LTCC system. The material system includes physically and chemically compatible dielectric paste, dielectric tape and conductor materials which can be co-fired with the base ferrite LTCC tape to create sintered devices with excellent magnetic coupling, high permeability (~400), high resistivity (> 1012Ω•cm) and good saturation (~0.3 T). The co-fired ferrite and dielectric materials can be used as a substrate for attaching or housing semiconductor components and other discrete devices that are part of the power electronics system. Furthermore, the ability to co-fire the ferrite with dielectric and conductor materials allows for the incorporation of embedded passives in the multilayer structure to create hybrid power electronic circuits. Overall this thick film material set offers a unique approach to making hybrid power electronics and could potentially allow a size reduction for many commercial dc-dc converters and other power electronic circuits.