Adding the glass changes the thermal response of the capacitor, allows a higher voltage and lowers the sintering temp so instead of precious electrodes capacitor makers can use base metal electrodes. This allows the MLCCs to be significantly smaller than aluminium electrolytic capacitors and lower cost, says Kelly, especially important at a time when MLCCs are increasingly in short supply.
The company now has several products lines, with a glass CMBT hybrid for MLCC and a pure CMBT Y5V for MLCCs in the decoupling capacitor market, as well as a version for supercapacitors.
“With the CMBT loaded polymers at room temperature we are approaching energy densities of supercapacitors. We are completely electrostatic with high voltage so we have 3K and 4kV parts with an energy density that’s suitable for the low end of the supercapacitor market,” said Kelly. “On the ceramic side we can store 1.4wh/l and we are not going to wear out over time,” he said.
“From our perspective the development is all concurrent, the advancements we are making on the polymer side are daily and dramatic, so we are very excited about those material developments,” said Clifford.
The technology is now rolling out to manufacturers.
“We are talking right now to a range of international manufacturers on how we can enhance their MLCC output with a higher K dielectric, and by increasing the performance of materials in existing devices you can increase throughput to address the shortage of MLCC devices,” said Clifford. Others are looking at it for replacement of aluminium electrolytic capacitors.”
“Our intention is not to produce end devices but production of the CMBT, either through licensing or joint ventures. We are negotiating with tier 1 multibillion dollar organisations, the top 3 players, so we are getting interest at that level. Capacitor part manufacturing is happening in Europe and companies are definitely interested in the high voltage operation,” he added. “The raw material and CMBT production can happen anywhere in the world, there are supplies of barium titanate and dopants are available around the world.”
With the history of the technology, having proof points is essential, says Clifford.
“We wanted to push the technology as far as we could and get independent certification of the technology and turn heads,” he said. “You kind of only get one chance and we wanted to put our best foot forward, and its very important to be ready. We’ll publish the Phase 9 results in the next couple of weeks with a lot of focus on that.”