Micro-Assembly Origami with Flex-to-rigid

Micro-Assembly Origami with Flex-to-rigid

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

Creating virtually any 3D shape out of Integrated Circuits (IC) technology, using highly flexible and ultrathin electrical connections

Flex-to-rigid (F2R) is a high-precision micro-assembly platform, that includes flexible polymer interconnects with embedded electrical tracks. This way, virtually every 3D shape can be constructed out of IC technology in extremely small form factors; from boxes to tubes – you name it.

It is like micro-assembly origami.

F2R has been developed by the Philips MEMS Foundry to bring complex electronic imaging functionality to the tip of smart catheters and guide wires. It is, however, just as fit for many other applications that make use of multiple electronic components.

The F2R platform starts with common silicon processing on wafer level. Tiny silicon islands of arbitrary shape, with functional elements, are connected by extremely thin and flexible electrical polymer interconnects, that are able to bend. These interconnects are created during the wafer processing stage. F2R replaces several assembly steps, and their corresponding costs and risks.

The extreme flexibility and micron-size precision lets F2R take over, where standard flex foil technology comes to an end.

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