Layer-by-layer 3D selective silicon deposition could cut micro- and nanomanufacturing costs
June 26, 2012 // Julien Happich
Researchers at KTH Microsystem Technology hope to bring mass innovation capabilities to smaller companies and markets with a new approach to MEMS manufacturing, akin to 3D printing.
Production of silicon micro- and nano-sensors such as MEMSs with today's technologies requires a full-scale clean-room laboratory costing millions of euros – facilities that few organisations can afford. Researchers at KTH Microsystem Technology have demonstrated a manufacturing concept that could pave the way toward simple, inexpensive “printing” of 3D silicon structures. The new manufacturing technology consists of a layer-by-layer process for defining 3D patterns in silicon, using focused ion beam writing followed by silicon deposition. The layered 3D silicon structures are defined by repeating these two steps over and over, followed by a final etching step in which the excess silicon material is dissolved away. The researchers note, however, that the system has so far only been tested manually on relatively simple structures, and that more development lies ahead to implement the concept in a manufacturing tool called a 3D printer.
“In a future manufacturing process, the structure would first be designed in a 3D drawing programme. The drawing is then sent to a 3D printer that recreates the structure in silicon, layer by layer from the bottom up,” explains Frank Niklaus, Associate Professor at KTH Microsystem Technology.
In 2011, Frank Niklaus received a grant of EUR 1.5 million (about SEK 15 million) from the European Research Council for his research on new manufacturing paradigms for micro- and nanosystems. Now the researchers are working to refine the process on a larger scale, and they plan to develop a 3D printer that enables the creation of complex 3D silicon nanostructures. The next step is to commercialise the manufacturing technology in collaboration with partners from industry.
With such a tool, KTH Microsystem Technology wants to enable smaller companies and organisations to advance sensors and other technologies beyond multi-million markets currently addressed with MEMS fabs.
Visit KTH Microsystem Technology at www.kth.seAll news
Photographic method to survey magnetic field
July 23, 2014
A new technique enables users to display magnetic fields as a 2D colour photography. Thus uses can acquire, visualise and ...
Failed merger talks won't stop Dialog
XCore architecture attracts Bosch investment
Steep growth for thermoelectric energy harvesting, says Infinergia Consulting
AMS, Dialog merger talks fail
MIT wrist-robot adds extra fingers
July 22, 2014
Ever try to get the lid off a jar with one hand, or open an envelope, or 1,000 other two-handed tasks? Well now you can, ...
Li-ion batteries market for EVs to quadruple in a decade
Monolithic Power Systems signs with Avnet Memec
Thoughts on energy harvesting for wearable equipment
- Testing GPS with a Simulator
- DSM presents: Select the best plastic for DDR4
- Dual 13A μModule Regulator with Digital Interface for Remote Monitoring & Control of Power
- Exploring the Business Model Evolution of High-Tech Equipment Manufacturers
InterviewCEO interview: China, not Apple, is way to go, says mCube CEO
Ben Lee, CEO of MEMS startup mCube, explains why he wants to spend $37 million on being a supplier of sensors to Chinese ODMs and avoiding a design win with Apple or Samsung.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Altium Ltd is offering EETimes Europe's readers the chance to win one TASKING VX-Toolset for ARM Cortex-M Premium Edition, normally licensed for 2.395 Euros, for ultra-rapid prototyping and code development around ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers.
The VX-toolset for ARM is the first TASKING compiler suite to receive the Software Platform technology, which is seamlessly...Read more
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.