Application Spotlight: hBN Ceramic Setters for MOCVD

About Boron Nitride

Hexagonal BN

What is hBN?

Boron nitride is a synthetic ceramic, with crystal phases analogous to carbon. The hexagonal phase, similar to graphite, is the form Saint-Gobain manufactures. In its simplest form, it is a white, lubricious powder with many unique properties.


Thermal Properties

BN has one of the highest thermal conductivities for an electrically insulating material, with an added benefit of superior thermal shock resistance. As a platelet or agglomerated powder, it acts as an effective filler in polymers for thermal management. As a solid, its thermal shock resistance and inertness make it suitable for high-temperature ceramic manufacturing and molten metal processing.

Key attributes:

  • High thermal conductivity (30-300 W/mK)
  • Low coefficient of thermal expansion (<2.3 in/in/°C x 10-6)
  • Thermal shock resistant


Electrical Properties

With a dielectric strength much greater than alumina, BN is an excellent low loss insulator. BN is an outstanding dielectric cooling filler for polymer compounds used in LED lighting and electronic assemblies for power devices or high frequency applications.

Key attributes:

  • Electrically insulating
  • High dielectric strength (>10 kV/mm)
  • Low dielectric loss
  • Low dielectric constant (~4)
  • Microwave & RF transparency


Chemical Properties

The strong, covalent bonding of BN makes for a very inert material. BN is oxidation and corrosion resistant, making it suitable for high-temperature processes such as steel processing and ceramic manufacturing. It is also non-toxic for use in cosmetics or non-contact food grade lubricant additives.

Key attributes:

  • Inert - oxidation resistant up to 850ºC in in air, 2000ºC inert atmospheres
  • Resistant to corrosion by most molten metals
  • Non-toxic
  • Dopant source


Mechanical Properties

Due to its excellent lubricity, oxidation resistance and non-abrading properties, BN is ideal as a release agent in light-metal processing and as a lubricant additive in dynamic friction materials for high-performance automotive and aerospace applications. It’s low hardness makes it very easy to machine parts with tight tolerances, such as nozzles for metal atomization or side dams and break rings for steel casting.

Key attributes:

  • Low coefficient of friction (0.3)
  • Low density (2.2 g/cm3)
  • Low hardness (1.5 on Moh’s scale)


Optical Properties

BN can impart unique optical properties to compounds such as automotive varnish and cosmetic formulas. A wide selection of platelet sizes offers control over finish and opacity - from translucent to opaque and matte to shiny. Additional benefits in cosmetic formulations include oil absorption and optical blurring to reduce the appearance of scratching or fine lines. Its natural white color makes it easy to add to any formulation with dyes.

Key attributes:

  • High refractive index (1.65)
  • White color
  • Blurring of defects
  • Adjustable transparency and finish
Explore our Applications

Boron nitride combines high thermal conductivity with exceptional dielectric properties, making it a unique additive or component for electronic systems.


Boron nitride serves as both critical components and processing aids for aerospace applications

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