Rogers PCB Laminate Materials Guide

The electronic era places higher demands on product performance, particularly in cutting-edge applications like high-frequency radiofrequency (RF). However, in such environments, circuits often encounter issues such as signal attenuation, reflection, and crosstalk. One solution is to optimize the design, but another approach is to consider using materials with high-frequency characteristics, such as PTFE, LTCC, PEEK, and Rogers, among others. Based on the stability of Rogers laminate materials, many designers prioritize them during the design phase. In this article, TechSparks will provide you with detailed information about this material to ensure that your PCB design excels in high-frequency applications!

Table of Contents

Meet Rogers

The history of Rogers Corporation can be traced back to 1832 when it was primarily a paper-based company. Over time, the company underwent a transformation and shifted its focus towards research and manufacturing of high-performance materials. Today, Rogers has evolved into one of the world’s largest and most renowned material science and technology companies. With a global presence, the company has offices and production facilities spanning various high-tech sectors, including telecommunications, electronics, automotive, energy, healthcare, defense, and aerospace.

In addition to amassing a diverse clientele over the years, what’s truly impressive is the exceptional qualities of their high-performance substrate materials. These materials boast features such as low dielectric constants and low loss tangents, which are crucial in high-frequency RF circuits, microstrip antennas, and satellite communication systems, among others. Furthermore, Rogers can complement the shortcomings of other high-frequency materials, enabling easy construction of multilayer structures, providing enhanced mechanical strength, and facilitating ease of processing. Hence, the Rogers substrate material series is highly acclaimed.

Rogers Laminate Series

RO4000 Series

The “Rogers RO4000 series” is a high-performance material constructed from a glass-reinforced hydrocarbon/ceramic base (not PTFE). This series is highly popular due to its amalgamation of outstanding features and compatibility with traditional manufacturing processes, providing significant competitive advantages in terms of both performance and cost.

  • Series Models: RO4003C™, RO4350B™, RO4360G2™, RO4400™/RO4400T™, RO4500™, RO4700™, RO4830™, RO4835™, RO4835IND™, RO4835T™, CU4000™, and CU4000 LoPro®.
  • Wide Range of Dielectric Constants: Depending on the substrate, the dielectric constants in the RO4000 series range from 2.55 to 6.15.
  • Excellent Cost-Performance Ratio: This series offers outstanding mechanical strength while using processing techniques similar to traditional epoxy resin/glass weave, resulting in a more competitive price.
  • Wide Applicability: It finds applications in satellite television, RFID, base station antennas, and even performs exceptionally well at circuit operating frequencies exceeding 500 MHz.
  • Low Temperature Coefficient: It boasts one of the lowest temperature coefficients among similar products, typically ranging from 18 ppm/°C to 33 ppm/°C.

RO3000 Series

The Rogers RO3000 series is a circuit board series that introduces rolled copper foil into substrate construction and combines it with PTFE ceramic resin materials, granting them excellent insertion loss performance. RO3000 substrate materials excel in meeting the high-performance requirements of millimeter-wave circuit designs.

  • Series Models: RO3003™, RO3003G2™, RO3006™, RO3010™, RO3035™
  • Multilayer Structure: RO3000 series is the ideal choice for constructing multi-layer PCB relative to aluminum oxide or other ceramic materials.
  • Dielectric Constants: The RO3000 series boasts a wide range of dielectric constants, ranging from 3.00 to 10.2, and these values are highly stable. They do not exhibit dielectric constant step changes at room temperature. Even at operating frequencies as high as 10 GHz, performance remains relatively unaffected over a temperature range of -50°C to +150°C.
  • Low Z-Axis CTE: The RO3000 series features a low Z-axis linear coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), meaning that the material expands less when heated in the direction perpendicular to the material’s surface. This helps avoid distortions or deformations in the position and size of vias during PCB manufacturing due to temperature variations.
  • Non-Directional Impact: Unidirectional glass-reinforced RO3000 series laminates can offer more unique isotropic electrical performance, meaning consistent electrical performance is provided regardless of the direction in which the signal propagates through the material.

Rogers vs FR4

Rogers and FR4 attribute table comparison

FR4 and Rogers are two commonly used PCB substrate. FR4 material is composed of a composite of glass fiber cloth and epoxy resin base, with “4” representing the fourth level of flame retardancy. Below is a simple comparison table:

CharacteristicRogers MaterialsFR4 Materials
Dielectric Constant2.2 – 10.2Approximately 4.4
Dielectric Loss0.002 to 0.0050.02 to 0.04
Heat ResistanceRogers RO4000 series can operate above 200 degrees Celsius without degrading electrical performance.Flame resistance does not equate to heat resistance; FR4 materials can meet operating temperatures of 100 to 130 degrees Celsius.
PriceExpensiveEconomical
InsulationExcellent insulation performanceAdequate insulation, capable of resisting current leakage
Application AreasHigh-frequency, microwave, RF, satellite, and other high-performance applicationsGeneral electronic devices, consumer electronics, industrial control, and other standard applications

In general, Rogers surpasses FR4 in various aspects, except for its price. When considering the use of these two materials, our focus is on:

  • Whether FR4 can meet the project’s circuit performance requirements.
  • Whether there are alternative options to Rogers laminates.
  • Whether the project has sufficient profit margins.

Rogers PCB Application Areas

Due to project cost considerations, the applications of Rogers PCB are primarily in high-frequency, RF (radio frequency), microwave, and high-speed circuits. Some examples include:

  • 5G base station antennas
  • Satellite communication equipment
  • RF front-end modules
  • Microstrip antennas
  • Microwave filters
  • Radar systems
  • Fiber optic communication modules
  • Cloud computing servers
  • Data storage devices
  • Solar inverters
  • IoT sensors
  • Sonar systems
  • Avionics electronics
  • High-frequency amplifiers
  • Laser communication modules
  • Quantum computer modules
  • Communication satellite terminal equipment

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