Pilot Fabrication

Following to development projects Fraunhofer IPMS offers its customers pilot production in the fields of MEMS and MOEMS. Following are some examples:

Barcode scanners

Barcode scanners
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Barcode scanners.

Micro scanning mirrors are distinguished from conventional mirror systems by their low electrical power consumption, compact mechanical design, and high reliability. The development of a stable manufacturing process for micro scanning mirrors enabled Fraunhofer IPMS to create the basis for fabrication of a new generation of bar code readers. Our services for our customers encompass design customization, cost-effective fabrication, fabrication-ready MEMS scanners, process transfer to a suitable Foundry, development of device drivers (hardware and software), assembly and packaging, and the design and execution of reliability investigations.

The proof of the pudding for complex manufacturing processes is device yield. For mechanically oscillating components such as these single-mirror devices, electro-optical methods have been developed which allow 100% inspection at the wafer level. Tests are carried out using an automated test system.

Resonant Microscanners

Micromirror arrays as a programmable lithographic mask

Tilt mirror array with 1 mln individual mirrors
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Tilt mirror array with 1 mln individual mirrors.

The development of micro-mirror arrays as a programmable lithographic mask for mask exposure systems has been carried out at Fraunhofer IPMS in collaboration with Micronic (Sweden). In addition to ongoing product development, the focus is on small-volume fabrication of several specification-compliant components. Among these qualified components is a 1 million mirror array, whose individual mirrors are 16 microns square, can be tilted in an analog fashion, and are refreshed at a rate of 2 kHz. This particular component is used in Micronic's SIGMA series of high-resolution mask writers.

In parallel with fabrication activities, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing mirror technologies for future applications having even more stringent requirements. Wafer bonding technologies have been tested successfully, which make it possible to use single-crystal silicon as the actuator material. The mechanical properties of this material exceed significantly those of the aluminum alloys in current use. First prototypes equipped with Si mirrors also show promising improvements in mirror planarity. One of the biggest challenges of this new technology is to make the required technological processes fabrication-worthy. The large chip size (15 mm x 38 mm), in combination with the complex wafer bonding process, places strict demands on fabrication quality in order to achieve substantial device yield.

Spatial Light Modulators

Automotive pressure sensors

Wafer with pressure sensors
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Wafer with pressure sensors.

Microsystems such as pressure sensors for monitoring the pressure of air and hydraulic systems, as well as accelerometers for airbag deployment, are now an integral part of every automobile. Not only do they reduce the weight, but they also improve vehicle functionality and safety.

In collaboration with the French automotive supplier SAGEM, Fraunhofer IPMS has developed a process for the fabrication of piezoresistive pressure sensors for hydraulic systems, which ensures device high reliability at low cost. The process has been transferred successfully to fabrication, and is used to fabricate quantities in the range of 300-500 thousand units per year. These devices are found in vehicles produced by leading French automobile manufacturers. Fraunhofer IPMS is the single-source manufacturer for these devices. Numerous quality audits have been performed by customers. In every instance, these Fraunhofer IPMS devices have surpassed the quality requirements.

Differential Pressure Sensor Technology

End-of-Line standard substrates for the characterization of organic semiconductor materials

OFET Chips (Inset: Single Transistor)
© Fraunhofer IPMS
OFET Chips (Inset: Single Transistor).

Organic electronics have been seen as key to the development of new applications, based upon organic semiconductors and other simple-to-process materials. Processing these materials typically requires low temperatures, as well as large-area deposition, and patterning using a variety of coating and printing processes. The semiconductor materials determine substantially the overall system performance. So, simple and reliable electronic characterization of these semiconductors is essential, not only for material development by organic chemists, but also for process development by process engineers, and circuit design by circuit designers.

For material analysis in the area of organic semiconductors, Fraunhofer IPMS has developed standardized single-transistor structures utilizing a bottom-gate architecture, fabricated on a silicon substrate. These substrates for organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) are encapsulated using silicon dioxide (SiO2). Electrical contacts are made using gold electrodes created using lift-off a technique.

End-of-Line standard substrates for the characterization of organic semiconductor materials