"Technology of MLCC miniaturization
and capacity-expansion" The key is
ultra-fine materials! The reason
why we develop proprietary materials
Demands for higher performance of MLCC (multilayer ceramic capacitors) have been surging, due to miniaturization and performance enhancement of electronic devices. Smaller form factors with larger capacitance needs — How can we respond to these contradictory requirements? In this issue, will focus on MLCC's manufacturing process, as well as the material technology that realizes miniaturization and capacitance expansion.
- ▶︎Basic structure and production process of MLCCs
- ▶︎Ultra-fine material—a key for miniaturization and performance enhancement
- ▶︎The reason why we develop our own materials
Basic structure and production process of MLCCs
Supply demand and higher specification of MLCCs have been surging, due to emerging IoT, 5G and ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) markets.
A high-end smartphone contains 1,000 or more MLCCs, and this number is expected to grow along with performance enhancement. This means that miniaturization without reducing capacitance (amount of electric charge that can be stored) will be inevitable. In other words, larger capacitance in the same case size, or smaller dimensions for the same capacitance in a part, and lineup enhancement, are being required for MLCCs.
How can MLCC miniaturization be realized? The key is ultra-fine materials. For better understanding, we first will explain about the basic structure of an MLCC and its production process.
As its name indicates, a Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor (MLCC) is composed of a layered structure with ceramic dielectric sheets and internal electrodes, one on top of the other.
▲Cross-section of an MLCC and its Layered Structure
TAIYO YUDEN has a wide variety of MLCC lineups, ranging from the miniature-size ones of 0.25 (vertical) x 0.125 (horizontal) x 0.125 mm (height) to the industry's largest level capacity ones of 1,000µF (4.5 (vertical) x 3.2 (horizontal) x 3.2 mm (height)). These products have been realized by the technology for thinning dielectric sheets (less than 1µm, or 1/100 of the thickness of a human hair), as well as for layering them precisely (up to 1,000 layers or more).
The MLCC production process consists of material, printing, and layering technologies.
▲Schematics of the MLCC Production Process
MLCC's capacity enhancement is possible by layering more dielectric sheets, but it increases the thickness. To make both capacity enhancement and miniaturization simultaneously possible, it is inevitable to develop thinner, higher-quality dielectric sheets.
Ultra-fine material technology is required to make this happen.
Ultra-fine material, a key to miniaturization and performance enhancement
Ultra-fine material is made of nano-level small particles of dielectric ceramic, which is an important technology affecting the following processes and quality.
▲Ultra-fine and non-ultra-fine particles — Ultra-fined particles show higher density.
Ultra-fine particles are not just small particles, it requires a technology to granularize particles in a uniform size. Uneven particle size may deteriorate capacitance due to lack of density or make it difficult to maintain even thickness of the dielectric sheet. If there is unevenness in the sheet, the required reference performance will not be achieved.
Even if the thickness of a single sheet is 1µm, layering 1,000 or more sheets will accumulate error gaps. Manufacturers are working hard to realize ultra-fine materials with high precision, and that is the key factor for product performance and quality.
▲Smallest MLCC from TAIYO YUDEN — Ultra-fine material realizes the small case size (0.25 (vertical) x 0.125 (horizontal) x 0.125 mm (height)).
The reason why we develop our own materials
Since its establishment, TAIYO YUDEN has been developing products that respond to market needs by refining its elemental technologies in the entire process of material development to commercialization, to create electronic components that contribute to the evolution of electronic devices.
We will continue advancing our material technology to satisfy the various needs of the market and customers.