Editorial Feature


Forsterite is a crystalline magnesium silicate. It is best known for having, like the other magnesium silicate, clinoenstatite, with the formula MgSi03 or MgO.SiO2, an extremely low electrical conductivity. This makes forsterite ceramics the ideal substrate materials for electronics.

In addition, forsterite ceramics are considered as some of the most adequate materials for applications as manifolds for SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells) - due to them having a linear thermal expansion coefficient perfectly matching with the other cell components and a very high stability in fuel cell environments.

Key Properties

The main properties that make forsterite a material of interest to engineers and designers are:

  • Good refractoriness, with a high melting point (1890°C)
  • Excellent electrical insulator even at high temperatures
  • Low dielectric permittivity
  • Thermal expansion coefficient matching that of silicon.


As mentioned previously forsterite is of interest to SOFC manufacturers due to its thermal expansion properties and chemical stability.

It’s electrical properties also make it an ideal candidate for electronic substrates.


Primary author: I.D. Alecu and R.J. Stead

Source: Abstracted from Journal of the Australasian Ceramic Society, Vol. 34 no. 2 pp. 50-53 (1998)



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