Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Silicon becomes easily and precisely ultra-thin

An innovative space technology that uses micromachining of integrated circuit allows 3D shaping and thinning of silicon down to 80µm thickness.
Silicon becomes easily and precisely ultra-thin
Conventionally used methodologies for silicon thinning normally employ chemical or plasma techniques that may affect the functionality of devices due to potential plastic package contamination. Unlike these techniques, a French laboratory developed a novel technology that employs the 3D machining approach.

Initially, silicon displays a constant thickness of 350µm and through thermo-mechanical constraint, the flat silicon ends into a hill shape of 80µm. The adopted 3D approach leads to an 80µm hill shape at the end, offering a constant silicon thickness.

The 3D machining approach features increased precision as the 3D shape is fully controllable while the circuit is under operation. Additionally, it is extremely cost-effective in its implementation, as this simply involves a micro-machining and a sensing/measuring tool, as well as minimum required software.

The technique was primarily designed and employed for space applications. Apart from silicon the micro-machining technology can also be exploited for use in other materials such as glass i.e. to shape tiny lenses. More specifically, it can find useful applications in the field of micro-optical domain, where highly specific optical devices are required.

Partners engaged in the area of qualification of integrated circuits for space and defense, or micro-optics applications are sought for further collaboration. Prior to its commercialisation, the innovative technology is available for evaluation of the simplicity of its use and the quality of the obtained results.
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