Journal article

3D structuration of LTCC and related technologies for thermal management and microfluidic structures

Ceramic technologies such as LTCC (Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic) and thick-film are used widely in electronic circuits exposed to harsh environments, for applications in fields such as aerospace, automotive and energy exploration, where, owing to their thermal and chemical stability, they have an extensive and successful track record. Recently, the extensive structuration possibilities afforded by LTCC have led to its use in sensors, microfluidics and thermal management (hotplates). In the first part of this work, we present both new and classical techniques for structuring ceramic devices for thermal management, microfluidics or both. Critical aspects for achieving successful structuration and reliable device operation are discussed, such as lamination and sealing techniques, materials formulation and selection, as well as thermomechanical design. These considerations are illustrated in the second part of this work with several examples: micro-hotplates for various applications, microfluidic coolers, chemical reactors and solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) components.

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