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Aluminum nitride (AlN) is an electrically insulating ceramic that is widely used in a wide range of applications. It is a covalently bonded ceramic synthesised from the abundant elements aluminum and nitrogen. The resulting ceramic material has exceptional thermal conductivity and electrical insulation properties, providing a cost-effective alternative to beryllium oxide (BeO) and silicon carbide (SiC) materials.
The crystalline structure of AlN is mainly the hexagonal wurtzite (WZ) phase with a unit cell parameter of a = 3.11 A and c = 4.98 A,7 but can also be found in cubic rock salt and cubic zinc sulfide phases. This latter is predicted to be metastable and may exhibit superconductivity at high pressures.
In order to realize complex-shaped AlN components, modern additive manufacturing processes with greater degrees of freedom must be qualified. This is an area in which DLP and LCM technologies offer significant advantages over conventional processes such as robo-casting or binder jetting.