Machinable Aluminium Nitride in Plant Growing Lamps

Machinable Aluminium Nitride in Plant Growing Lamps

Machining BNP2

Machining BNP2






Machinable aluminium nitride has one of its best applications in ultraviolet LED optics and electronics. Carry on reading for Multi Lab’s guide for more information.


First manufactured in 1877 and only of interest for its chemical make-up, machinable aluminium nitride has had to wait a long time for a suitable application. In the 1980s, aluminium oxide was developed as a powder, but this tended to hydrolyze in the atmosphere and produce a smell of ammonia. Today, it has a perfect application in ultraviolet optical electronics.








Machinable aluminium nitride is stable in an inert atmosphere up to temperatures of 2,800 degrees Celsius. But in the air it does start to decompose at temperatures around 1,800 degrees C. Nevertheless, it can be used to protect materials over which it is placed up to temperatures of 1,340 degrees C.

This ceramic also has a very high thermal conductivity that makes it very useful as a heat sink. The only other comparable material for this is beryllium oxide. But the latter compound has a high toxicity and has been banned in many jurisdictions. Pure machinable Alumina nitride is a translucent product but can be easily coloured.

Japan has pioneered the development of high thermal conductivity aluminium nitride. Today the compound is a very reliable and cost-effective substrate for laser diodes. They have replaced other very high-cost substrates such as silicon carbide or diamond heat sinks. Some typical examples of heat sinks are used in transportation systems, power converters and satellites.

A more recent innovation has been a purple LED lamp to be used for plant growing. The term “purple” when applied to light means a combination of blue and red lights. A “violet” colour light refers only to the narrow part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Normal white light is the combination of red, blue and green lights. Plants, which usually have green foliage, will reflect the green component of white light while absorbing only the red and blue parts. So a large element of the white light is wasted when it comes to plant growth.

BNP2  Machinable Aluminium Nitride

BNP2 Machinable Aluminium Nitride






UK manufacturer Lumileds achieved a purple light by using different thickness of machinable aluminium nitride substrates as heat sinks on the separate emissions surfaces of the lamp for red and blue lights. This way, the resulting beam consisted of equal intensities of the two colours. A cheaper solution for the substrate would have been to use aluminium oxide. But the use of aluminium nitride provides a better-quality result.

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