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
Proton-conducting graphene membranes enhances fuel cell performance
November 28, 2014
University of Manchester researchers have found graphene, which is impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow ...
Catcher drones to geo-fence industrial sites
Industry embraces 48V supply in the aim of bringing down emissions
ST, InvenSense X-Fab amongst MEMS award winners
Chip market for wireless sensor networks on 23% CAGR
Biometric credit card ready for mass production, says Card Tech
November 27, 2014
It took seven years of development at Card Tech, an Italian company created in 2005 to focus on mobile security, before it ...
New class of layered materials drive PV innovations
Lauterbach, Symtavision intermesh software for better safety
Mouser launch design contest around NXP's dual PCB configurable logic
- Common Mode Rejection in Wide Input Range Op Amps
- Power Systems Design eBook
- Halogen-free options and increased performance for terminal blocks
- Wireless Power User Guide
InterviewCEO interview: Vicor powers after higher volume applications
Patrizio Vinciarelli, is one of the longest serving CEOs in electronics, having founded Vicor in 1981 and led the company ever since. At Electronica he told EE Times Europe that his company is investing ...
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, Cherry is giving away five of its Energy Harvesting Evaluation kits, worth over 266 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win. Cherry's energy harvesting technology benefit mostly applications where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate.
The required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
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.