Formula Aluminum Nitride

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Aluminum nitride (also known as AlN or AIN) is a common ceramic material for many different industrial applications. It has several desirable properties that make it attractive for a wide variety of uses. It has a wide direct bandgap, which is important for electronic devices. It is also an electrical insulator. It withstands high temperatures, which is beneficial for many applications. In addition, it can be fabricated to have very small grain sizes, which allows it to be used as an element in microelectronics.

In the crystalline form, it has a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure and is covalently bonded. It is a hard, tough material with a low coefficient of thermal expansion and good corrosion resistance. Aluminum nitride can be manufactured by carbothermal reduction of aluminum oxide or alumina hydrate using carbon or gaseous nitrogen, or by direct nitridation of aluminium. Carbothermal reduction is the most common method to produce large quantities of stoichiometric AlN. The material is then sintering or hot-pressed to produce a dense technical grade. Sintering aids such as CaO and Y2O3 are often used to ensure the proper consistency of the material.

Aluminum nitride is also an excellent material for making thin film piezoelectric transducers. These are needed in applications such as ultrasonic wave guides, where a high-frequency sound energy is converted into a pressure wave that moves a fluid or other material. In addition to this, a thin film of crystalline aluminum nitride can be used as an electrostatically-sensitive sensor for surface acoustic waves.