Laser & Electronics (LPKF) in Germany has opened a cleanroom fab to produce thin glass components for applications in the electronics and semiconductor industry.
The LIDE process (Laser Induced Deep Etching) developed by LPKF enables rapid and high-precision structuring of thin glass without impairing surface properties and ensuring the original stability of the glass remains fully intact. This allows the production of microsystems, sensors, display components and microchips.
The cleanroom was constructed in 13 months at the company site in in Garbsen, near Hannover, despite the Covid-19 pandemic to meet increased demand for processing thin glass.
LIDE allows deep microstructures can now be created in glass for the first time without causing micro cracks, stresses, or other surface defects. Processing is extremely precise, and the process is fast.
“We now have a very flexible hall that we can equip in accordance with customer requirements, thus allowing the required production processes in each case to be offered as quickly as possible,” said Dirk Neizel, Operations Manager at LPKF. “With a complete air exchange every 60 seconds and precisely controllable climatic conditions, the fab optimally meets all the requirements of a production cleanroom. We have also invested heavily in modern safety technology in all systems and laboratories.”
“We can now produce large quantities of thin-glass components and micro-components quickly and efficiently in our foundry and supply our customers worldwide,” said Dr Roman Ostholt, head of the Electronics Business Unit, which also includes the LIDE service division under the Vitrion brand.
“Our new fab enables easy access to our technology for a broad set of customers across industries, who from today can order structured thin glass components from LPKF for their high-volume applications. In doing so, they can quickly realize substantial value from our transformative platform technology, without the need to invest in both systems and process capabilities. This drives our customers’ competitive advantage,” said Dr. Götz M. Bendele, CEO of LPFK.
Glass is a material of particular interest to many areas in the electronics and semiconductor sector but has been difficult to work with as surface defects associated with the production process make it prone to brittle fracture.
LIDE-processed glass can be used in advanced IC and wafer level packaging in heterogeneous integration. The process also opens up new opportunities for processing and using display glass or microfluidic arrays.
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