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Ultra-Thin Zirconia Ceramic Membranes for Electronic Applications
Keywords: Zirconia, Ceramic, Membranes
In 2010, ENrG Incorporated commercialized 40 microns thick, flexible zirconia based ceramic membranes. Even though so thin, the membranes are gas-tight, fully dense, strong, thermal shock tolerant and chemically inert. Historically, zirconia membranes are used mainly for applications such as solid oxide fuel cells and oxygen sensors, making use of the ionic property of partially stabilized zirconia at elevated temperatures. Initially, alternative applications were not envisioned but now three years after introduction, it has become evident inherent properties of the membrane are fully compatible with many other market applications and extremely harsh environments where ionic conductivity is not required. The uses include extreme temperature sensors, medical or dental electronics, mobile thin film batteries, solar membranes, thin infrared windows, via interposers, flexible electronics and superconductor membranes. These harsh environment applications may tap into additional properties such as translucency, low thermal mass, chemical resistance, infrared optical transmission, ability to bend and enhanced properties via coatings. The development and cross-market opportunities will enable cost reductions of these thin zirconia membranes. This paper will present ENrG’s introduction of this material broadly across 15 different market segments, and illustrate the material property required and applied by segment, and results of those applications.
John Olenick, President
ENrG Incorporated
Buffalo, NY
USA


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