A research institute specializing in Materials Science

Ceramic Materials Division

Department of Engineering Ceramics

Head of Department 'Kim, Ha-neul'
Head of Department
Kim, Ha-neul

Department Introduction

Department of Engineering Ceramics has focused on the property enhancement and longevity of ceramic materials working under harsh mechanical and thermal environment. As a pathfinder for applications of engineering ceramics, we are challenged to develop new multinational ceramics equipped with tailor-made functions based on engineering ceramics.


Major Activities

  • “Plasma resistant ceramic composite for semiconductor manufacturing facility” SCI paper published
  • “Ceramic nanofiber membrane modified with photocatalyst and method for manufacturing the same” (Europe/20770229.1) patent applied and (Korea/2260674) patent registered
  • “Silicon nitride ceramic and manufacturing method of the same” (Korea/2206446) patent registered and 1 highquality paper published
  • “Ceramic membrane having excellent fouling resistance by surface modification and water treatment method using the same” (Korea/2006133) patent registered
  • “Transparent Y2O3 polycrystalline ceramics” (Korea/2244157) patent registered and 4 papers published
  • tech transfer : sintering of Si3N4 ceramic plate (UJL Co. Ltd., 30million KRW)
  • press release : Development of plasma resistant nano-composite ceramic for reduction of contaminating particles in semiconductor manufacturing

Major Research Area

  • Fabrication of high strength/high fracture toughness/wear-resistant/low-cost non-oxide ceramics
  • Transparent polycrystalline ceramics for application in the ballistic proof/IR window and laser emission
  • Manufacturing and surface modification technology of porous ceramics for water treatment application
  • Flexible ceramic nanofibers for developing air/water filtration media

Future Research Plan

  • Development of optical grade transparent ceramics for laser emission
  • Development of ‘90W/m·K-900MPa’ level substrate for power device
  • Development of Si3N4 bearings for advanced processing machine
  • Development of environment-friendly porous ceramic materials for purification

Major R&D Activities

Si3N4 ceramics for EV inverter by pressureless sintering process


  • Heat-dissipation ceramic substrate, a must-requisite component with high durability&reliablity for EV power modules
  • Commercial Si3N4 substrates are sintered at 1900℃ / 9 atm N2, so the capital and process-cost of the equipment as well as maintenance work are difficult
  • To improve competitiveness by reducing equipment investment/maintenance/process cost by developing Si3N4 substrates with pressureless sintering at 1800℃ / 1 atm N2
  • Development goal of a new composition to reveal thermal conductivity of 75 W/m·K or more by pressureless sintering

[Research and Results]

  • Development of >70 W/m·K class new composition through exploration of various oxide additive combinations
  • Developed Si3N4 ceramics up to 77.9 W/m·K through pressureless sintering process at 1750℃ / 1 atm N2
  • Highest thermal conductivity among known pressureless sintered Si3N4 ceramics (Previous record : 75.6 W/m·K, Ceram. Int. 2021)
Pressuless sintered Si3N4 ceramics at 1750℃ / 1 atm N2

Plasma resistant ceramic for the reduction of contaminating particles in semiconductor manufacturing Introduction


  • Development of plasma resistant ceramic materials coping with high power plasma needed for reduction of line width
  • nano-composite Y2O3·MgO with excellent control of surface roughness on plasma etching
  • The enhancement of material properties and plasma resistance of YAG ceramic to substitute high-cost Y2O3 ceramic

[Research and Results]

  • Development of Y2O3·MgO nano-composite featuring grain size 300nm – surface roughness Ra=2.3nm after etching’
    - world 1st-nanometer grain-sized plasma resistant ceramic (press release)
    - shed a light on commercialization by using commercial powders
  • 1 micron grain-sized YAG by means of optimized milling and hot press sintering
SEM microstructure of Micron Y2O3 monolith and nano Y2O3·MgO (a, b) and schematics of surface morphology after etching (c,d)

Investigation of reticulated porous ceramics for applications

  • Tailoring pore structures and the mechanical properties of reticulated porous zirconia and characterizing thereof
  • Controlling the pore structure : pore size (sub-mm) and compressive strength (>3MPa)
Reticulated porous ceramics prepared from zirconia (left) and compressive strength (right)

Flexible ceramic nanofibers for developing filtration media

  • Flexible ceramic nanofibers not only improve the weak durability of polymeric filters but also enhance the brittleness of ceramics.
  • These flexible ceramic nanofibers can be applied for developing microfiltration (MF) and HEPA filters for water/air purification process.
The images of flexible ceramic nanofibers (top) and characteristics (bottom)