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What is Rogers Ro4003c Material?

Rogers 4003C is a popular radio frequency (RF) circuit board laminate material designed for high frequency applications up to gigahertz frequencies. This article provides an in-depth look at 4003C material properties, key electrical and physical characteristics, design considerations, and datasheet parameters that engineers need to know when using this versatile microwave substrate.

Overview of Rogers 4003 Material

The Rogers Corporation 4003C laminate is a ceramic-filled thermoset PTFE composite reinforced with microfiber glass fabric. It was engineered to meet the demands of high frequency analog and digital circuits operating up to frequencies as high as 3GHz.

Some key properties that make 4003C suitable for microwave PCBs include:

  • Stable dielectric constant of 3.55 +/- 0.05
  • Low dissipation factor of 0.0027
  • Tight dielectric tolerance for impedance control
  • High thermal conductivity of 0.71 W/m/K
  • Low z-axis coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE)
  • Lead-free assembly compatibility
  • UL 94 V-0 flammability rating
  • Excellent dimensional stability
  • High strength and moisture resistance
  • RoHS compliant materials

Ro4003c achieves an optimal balance of electrical performance, mechanical integrity, and ease of fabrication for RF applications. Next we’ll look at the 4003C datasheet specs in more detail.

Rogers 4003C Datasheet Parameters

Rogers RO4533

Here are some of the key parameters and characteristics provided on the Rogers 4003C datasheet for PCB design and fabrication:

ParameterValue
Dielectric Constant (εr)3.55 +/- 0.05
Dissipation Factor0.0027
Volume Resistivity>1×10^14 ohm-cm
Surface Resistivity>5×10^13 ohms
Dielectric Strength>1.5 kV/mil
Loss Tangent0.0009 (2.5GHz)
Z-Axis CTE60 ppm/°C
XY CTE17 ppm/°C
Tg280°C
Td340°C
Thermal Conductivity0.71 W/m/K
Moisture Absorption<0.2%
Copper Peel Strength1 lb/in
Lead-Free Process260°C

These properties make 4003C suitable for controlled impedance RF circuits through microwave frequencies. We’ll look at some of the key parameters in more detail.

Dielectric Constant and Loss Tangent

The dielectric constant of 4003C is 3.55 with tight tolerances of +/- 0.05. This allows circuit designers to engineer precise, consistent impedances across fabricated boards.

The low loss tangent of 0.0027 (at 10GHz) ensures signals propagate through 4003C PCBs with minimal attenuation. Loss increases gradually with frequency but remains below 0.005 up to 3GHz.

Thermal Performance

Rogers ro4003c provides excellent thermal conductivity at 0.71 W/m/K in the z-axis. This allows heat to dissipate in the dielectric layer which helps maintain signal integrity and component life at high power levels.

The moderate z-axis coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of 60 ppm/°C provides good reliability under temperature cycling to reduce risks of trace fractures.

Lead-Free Assembly Compatibility

4003C laminates withstand the 260°C soldering temperatures required for lead-free electronics assembly. The material remains stable through multiple reflow cycles without electrical or mechanical degradation.

Microwave/RF Design Capability

With its stable electrical properties and tight tolerances, 4003C enables fabrication of controlled impedance transmission lines and passive networks that function consistently through microwave frequencies up to several GHz.

The low loss tangent allows complex RF circuits with many lamination layers to avoid excessive signal loss.

4003C Material Grades

Rogers offers several variants of 4003C tailored for different applications:

  • 4003C for general RF/microwave use up to 3GHz
  • 4003C-AP for automotive applications
  • 4003C-2 (double clad) for stripline impedance layers
  • High frequency laminates above Rogers ro4003c for mmWave

Consult Rogers for guidance selecting the optimal 4003C grade for your particular cost, performance and reliability requirements.

Design Considerations Using Rogers 4003C

Here are some key design practices engineers should follow when working with Rogers 4003C material:

  • Use impedance calculators like Saturn PCB Toolkit to determine stripline dimensions
  • Select laminate thickness to achieve target impedance
  • Model discontinuities like stubs, vias, bends in traces
  • Include power and ground plane effects in impedance models
  • Account for frequency-dependent Dk variations
  • Limit glass weave skew to under 5 degrees
  • Watch for resin starvation, voids and thickness variations
  • Allow for Dk tolerance when budgeting impedances

Paying attention to these factors is necessary to achieve repeatable RF performance that matches simulations.

Typical Applications of Rogers 4003C

Rogers RO4500 PCB

Some examples of products using Rogers 4003C laminates include:

  • RADAR systems
  • Radio transceivers
  • Wireless infrastructure
  • High speed data links
  • Test and measurement equipment
  • Broadband amplifiers
  • Medical imaging equipment
  • Automotive sensors
  • Aerospace avionics

4003C is commonly used in wireless and industrial electronics operating up to several GHz where low cost, high performance circuit materials are needed.

Comparison to Other Popular RF Laminates

Parameter4003CRO4350BRO3003Taconic RF-35
Dielectric Constant3.553.483.03.5
Loss Tangent0.00270.00370.00130.0019
Dk Tolerance±0.05±0.05±0.04±0.05
Lead-Free Process260°C280°C288°C260°C
Thermal Conductivity0.71 W/m/K0.69 W/m/K0.69 W/m/K0.35 W/m/K
CostMediumMediumLowLow

Ro4003c provides a good balance of cost and high frequency performance.

Availability of Rogers 4003C Material

As one of Rogers’ most popular laminates, 4003C is well-stocked by authorized distributors worldwide. Common inventory includes:

  • 0.005” to 0.125” dielectric thicknesses
  • Reinforced and non-reinforced cores
  • Isola 370HR resin system
  • 1⁄2, 1, and 2 oz. electrodeposited copper foils
  • Glass fabric styles 1035, 2113, 3313
  • Sheets and panel sizes up to 18” x 24”

Work closely with your PCB supplier to ensure adequate material availability and lead times for your prototype through production needs.

FQA about Rogers 4003C Laminates

Rogers RT duroid 6006 PCB

What is the dielectric constant of Rogers 4003C?

Ro4003c has a stable dielectric constant of 3.55 +/- 0.05 tolerance across a wide frequency range up to gigahertz frequencies.

Can Rogers 4003C withstand lead-free soldering temps?

Yes, Ro4003c remains stable through lead-free assembly reflow profiles up to 260°C and multiple soldering cycles.

What are some typical applications for Rogers 4003?

4003C is commonly used for RF circuits in wireless communications, RADAR, medical and test equipment and other applications up to 3GHz.

Does Rogers 4003C laminate meet UL flammability ratings?

Rogers 4003C achieves a UL 94 V-0 rating for flame resistance to meet safety requirements.

What is the loss tangent of Rogers 4003C at 5GHz?

The loss tangent of 4003C at 5GHz frequencies is approximately 0.0035 which provides good low loss microwave performance.

Conclusion

With its controlled dielectric constant, low loss, thermal performance, and stability, Rogers 4003C laminate has become a popular PCB substrate for high frequency RF and microwave circuits through multi-GHz frequencies. Careful modeling of transmission lines, discontinuities, and plane effects is necessary to achieve impedances and performance that match simulations. When designed properly, Rogers 4003C enables consistent, repeatable RF PCB performance across prototyping through volume production for wireless, aerospace, defense and industrial electronics applications.

 

 

 

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