Aluminum nitride, AlN, is a light grey or white ceramic material which has a density of 3.26g/cm3. Surface oxidization happened in air even for room temperature, however, the aluminum oxide layer can protect the material up to 1370 C. Compared with aluminum, which is the traditional technical ceramic material, aluminum nitride has better thermal conductivity and even higher hardness. AlN was first synthesized in 1877, but it was not until the middle of the 1980s that its potential for application in microelectronics was realized. Due to its high thermal conductivity and great electrical insulation, aluminum nitride was used in microelectronic industries. Metallization methods are available to allow aluminum nitride to be used in electronics applications similar to those of alumina and beryllium oxide.
The hardness of aluminum nitride ceramic is even higher than alumina, the traditional technical ceramic, making it an ideal material for applications that require good wear resistance.
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