Do you have any questions? Email Us [email protected]

Aluminum Nitride (AlN)

Aluminum nitride (AlN) is recognized for its hexagonal wurtzite structure and refractory properties, exhibiting a distinct blue-white color in its purest form, though typically appearing as gray or white in ceramic applications. Renowned for its high temperature stability in inert atmospheres, AlN can withstand temperatures up to 2800 °C. It combines excellent thermal conductivity with superior electrical insulation, alongside a low dielectric constant and minimal dielectric loss. These features make aluminum nitride a crucial component in developing technologies across optics, electronics, and renewable energy sectors, enabling advancements in high-performance applications where material stability and efficiency are paramount.

The material properties of AlN further include an impressive thermal conductivity exceeding 170 W/mK, and a high electrical insulation capacity beyond 1.1012Ωcm, with biaxial strength over 320 MPa. Its thermal expansion coefficient remains low (4 to 6×10-6K-1 between 20 and 1000°C), ensuring dimensional stability across a broad temperature range. Moreover, AlN's compatibility with metallization processes enhances its utility in complex electronic systems and components. This combination of properties positions aluminum nitride as an indispensable material in the engineering of innovative devices, contributing significantly to advancements in technology and industry.

More Info About Aluminum Nitride

Products | Structure | Specification | Applications | Video | FAQs | Safety Data Sheet


Aluminum Nitride Structure

Aluminum Nitride (AlN) is distinguished by its hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure, which forms the basis of its unique properties. This structure facilitates covalent bonding between aluminum and nitrogen atoms, leading to a material that is both robust and capable of withstanding high temperatures. The preparation of AlN involves several sophisticated methods, each contributing to the purity and specific properties of the final product. Techniques such as direct nitridation, where aluminum is reacted with nitrogen gas, and carbothermal reduction, involving the reaction of alumina with carbon in a nitrogen atmosphere, are commonly employed. Additionally, high-energy ball milling, which mechanically alloys the material to fine powders, and high-temperature self-propagating synthesis, a method that utilizes exothermic reactions to achieve sintering, play crucial roles in the production of high-quality aluminum nitride.

File:Wurtzite polyhedra.png

Solid State, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is another pivotal method for creating AlN films, offering precise control over the material's thickness and composition. This variety of synthesis techniques allows for the tailoring of AlN's properties to specific applications, enhancing its suitability for a broad range of technological uses. The meticulous control over the aluminum nitride structure not only optimizes its thermal and electrical performance but also enhances its integration into complex systems. As a result, AlN's structure, characterized by its covalent bonds and hexagonal lattice, is central to its application in electronics, optics, and high-temperature environments, where its exceptional properties can be fully leveraged.

Aluminum Nitride Specification

Property Specification
Crystal Structure Hexagonal Wurtzite
Color Typically gray or white; pure form can appear blue-white
Melting Point Approximately 2800 °C
Thermal Conductivity > 170 W/mK
Electrical Insulation > 1.1012 Ωcm
Biaxial Strength > 320 MPa
Thermal Expansion (20-1000°C) 4 to 6 × 10-6 K-1
Density ~3.26 g/cm³
Dielectric Constant ~8.6 at 1 MHz
Dielectric Loss (tan δ) ~0.0007 at 1 MHz
Band Gap ~6.2 eV
Chemical Stability Stable in inert atmospheres

Aluminum Nitride Applications

Aluminum Nitride (AlN) is a versatile ceramic material with applications spanning various high-tech industries due to its exceptional thermal conductivity, electrical insulation properties, and chemical stability. Here’s a detailed look into its key applications:

Electronics and Semiconductors

AlN is widely used as a substrate material in electronic applications due to its excellent thermal management properties. It effectively dissipates heat in high-power semiconductor devices, such as transistors and integrated circuits, enhancing their performance and longevity. Additionally, its high electrical insulation capability makes it suitable for electronic packaging and insulation layers in microelectronic devices.

LED Technology

In the realm of optoelectronics, aluminum nitride serves as a crucial substrate for gallium nitride (GaN) based LEDs. Its compatibility with GaN, coupled with superior thermal conductivity, supports the development of high-efficiency LEDs, including ultraviolet (UV) LEDs used in sterilization, water purification, and medical diagnostic applications.

Thermal Management Solutions

Due to its high thermal conductivity, AlN is employed in heat sinks, heat spreaders, and cooling systems in various electronic devices, including CPUs, lasers, and power electronics. It plays a vital role in managing the thermal loads, ensuring devices operate within their optimal temperature ranges.

RF and Microwave Components

AlN's low dielectric constant and loss tangent make it an excellent material for radio frequency (RF) and microwave components, such as isolators, circulators, and antennas. These properties minimize signal loss and improve the efficiency of communication systems.

Aerospace and Defense

In aerospace and defense, AlN's ability to withstand extreme temperatures and its low thermal expansion coefficient are exploited in components exposed to high thermal stresses, such as sensors, electronic warfare systems, and components within jet engines.

Industrial Applications

AlN ceramics are used in industrial applications requiring high temperature resistance and durability, including crucibles for molten metal processing, thermocouple sheaths, and components in semiconductor manufacturing equipment.


Within the automotive sector, aluminum nitride is finding increasing use in sensors and electronic components that require efficient heat dissipation to withstand the demanding conditions of automotive environments, contributing to the enhancement of vehicle performance and safety features.

ACM Ceramic Product Video

Your AlN Ceramics Supplier

Advanced Ceramic Materials is a leading supplier of aluminum nitride ceramic products of the highest quality for a wide range of applications. We are happy to provide advice on materials, design, and application. Feel free to contact us with any questions about AlN or other ceramic materials that are not listed on the website. 

Read more: What is Aluminum Nitride Ceramic?

What Are the Good Properties of Aluminum Nitride Ceramics?
Aluminum nitride possesses several properties that make it suitable for a variety of industrial applications: ? High thermal conductivity (above 170W/m.K). ? Good thermal expansion coefficient of 4.5 *10-6℃. ? Good light transmission characteristics. ? Great electrical conductivity. ? Nontoxicity.
What Is AlN Ceramics Used For?
Aluminum nitride ceramics have been used in many fields due to their favorable properties. Some of the common applications of this material are: ? Chipping heat dissipation and support ? The use of aluminum nitride ceramic substrates (ceramic trays) in semiconductor devices ? Aluminum nitride etching shields ? Aluminum nitride evaporation boats for OLEDs ? In the manufacture of plastics and resins. These materials typically have low thermal conductivity (less than 0.3W/mk). ? In the packaging of various electronic components. ? …
How To Machine Different Types of Aluminum Nitride?
Depending on the method of production and the desired properties, the properties of aluminum nitride can be seen in three different forms: ? Conventional aluminum nitride ceramics are produced by casting and dry pressing. ? Injection-molded aluminum nitride ceramics effectively solve the problem of high hardness, brittleness, and complex processing of aluminum nitride ceramics. ? Injection molding high thermal conductivity aluminum nitride ceramics is based on the injection molding aluminum nitride ceramic process and uses high-purity, higher-quality aluminum nitride powder. The product has varying properties that depend on the product configuration and manufacturing process.
What Are the Ceramic Materials with High Thermal Conductivity?
The thermal conductivity of ceramic materials plays an important role in its application. Ceramic materials with high thermal conductivity are mainly composed of oxides, nitrides, carbides, and borides. Here are some specific examples. ? Aluminum Nitride: The theoretical thermal conductivity of aluminum nitride single crystal can reach 3200W/m?K. ? Polycrystalline Diamond (PCD): The theoretical value of thermal conductivity of its single crystal is 1642W/m?K at room temperature, and the measured value is 2000W/m?K. ? Silicon Carbide: The theoretical thermal conductivity of silicon carbide is very high, reaching 270W/m?K. ? Silicon Nitride: The theoretical thermal conductivity of silicon nitride crystals is 200 ~ 320 W/m?K. ? Beryllium Oxide: The thermal conductivity of the prepared BeO ceramics can reach 280 W/m?K.
Can Aluminum Nitride be Used at High Temperatures?
Yes, AlN maintains its structural integrity and properties at high temperatures, making it suitable for applications such as crucibles and thermocouple sheaths in high-temperature processes.
Is AlN Biocompatible?
Aluminum Nitride is considered to be biocompatible, allowing its use in medical devices and applications where direct contact with biological tissues is required.
How Does AlN Compare to Other Ceramics Like Silicon Carbide (SiC)?
AlN offers higher thermal conductivity than SiC, making it more effective for thermal management applications. However, SiC may provide better wear resistance in abrasive environments.
What Advancements Are Being Made With AlN?
Ongoing research and development are focused on enhancing the production processes of AlN to reduce costs and exploring new applications in electronics, photonics, and energy sectors, leveraging its unique properties for advanced technological solutions.
Aluminum Nitride Safety Data Sheet
Provided by Advanced Ceramic Materials
  • Your Name (required)
  • Your Email (required)
  • Company Name (required)
  • Country (required)
  • Phone (Optional)
  • Ceramics (Optional)
  • Notes (Optional)
  • File Upload (Optional)