In electronic packaging for RF and microwave, people are always looking for a very good insulation material with excellent properties that can be withstand the extreme strict environmental conditions in Military and aerospace applications.
Among them, BeO is standing out due to its high thermal conductivity and excellent electrical properties. The thermal conductivity of Beryllium oxide is up to 285 W/mk, the second ceramic material next to BeO is AlN, which is 170 W/mk, and compare to most common Al2O3 material, its thermal conductivity is only 25-30 W/mk. Therefore, BeO Ceramic become the priority materials for RF Power Transistor Packages in Thermal management and the applications that require excellent electrical isolation
As an oxide ceramic, Beryllium oxide is very stable in oxygen/moisture containing environments. The adhesion of the ceramic-to-metal joints is high and reliable. Typically, the metallization process is by Tungsten/manganese (W/Mn) coating, then plating Nickel (Ni), it can work in 800℃ at Reducing atmosphere without Nickel bubbling. BeO metallization is widely used in Microwave power circuits and Integrated Circuits (ICs).
Some misunderstandings on BeO materials is that it’s toxic, actually, only the powder of Beryllium oxide is toxic, the BeO ceramic is provided as finished product without toxic. The production workshop is strictly controlled to protect the workers’ life and safety, therefore, there is no need to worry about the health problem.