Roger A. McKay Jr., Susan Redmond, and Ron Weller, ; Kuni Yamamoto, Paul Knutrud, and John Podlesny, ; and Ganesh Sundaram, formerly of MEMS manufacturers face the unique challenge of extending semiconductor manufacturing technologies to the fabrication of 3-D mechanical devices. For example, two of the most commercially important MEMS applications, accelerometers and ink-jet printheads, are typically made using processes derived from the semiconductor manufacturing area. Processing costs for the relatively small MEMS industry would be prohibitively expensive if manufacturers were forced to employ custom toolsets made from scratch. However, although MEMS processing technologies are often based on semiconductor technologies, ICs and MEMS devices bear very little similarity to each other. Hence, a key ingredient in the successful adaptation of semiconductor toolsets to the MEMS area is communication and cooperation between IC equipment vendors and MEMS tool owners. This article describes how an optical metrology tool that was originally designed to measure critical dimensions (CDs) and pattern alignment in semiconductor devices was adapted to the unique requirements of ink-jet MEMS manufacturing at the Hewlett-Packard facility in Corvallis, OR. The article addresses several challenges facing ink-jet MEMS manufacturers, including varying wafer thicknesses, wafer deformation during fabrication, the etching of channels and holes, and the measurement of vertical CDs and custom feature shapes. Ink-Jets and the Ink-Jet Manufacturing Process All ink-jet printers use one of three ink-jet technologies—continuous, piezoelectric, or thermal. Invented in the 1960s, continuous-jet technology is the oldest. In continuous ink-jets, a pump feeds ink to the printhead, which generates a continuous train of droplets. The printhead selectively charges droplets as they pass though the nozzle and imposes an electric field across the droplets’ path to the paper. The field then deflects the charged droplets into a return collector, and uncharged droplets continue undeflected to the paper. Continuous ink-jets resist clogging,
Products & Services
MEMS devices integrate mechanical components, electronics, sensors and actuators on a semiconductor material, chip, or wafer.
MEMS Processing Equipment
MEMS processing equipment is used to create micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and wafers.
Ink Jet Printers
Ink jet printers project electrically charged droplets of ink onto a page. Types of ink jet printers include thermal and piezo.
Ink and Toner Cartridges
Ink cartridges and toner cartridges contain pigment for use in printers, fax machines and copiers.
Label printers are used to print a variety of labels or adhesive stamps. Most label printers are capable of printing bar codes.
Topics of Interest
Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry MEMS technologies are poised to take future analytical systemsand especially IVD systemsto new heights. To reduce the cost of in vitro diagnostics...
By Peter J. Brush, Ph.D., and Albert W. Alexander, Ph.D., both senior scientists at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals It is also important that the instruments can be used from pilot- to production-scale...
3.8 Packages for Materials Handling
In the future, MEMS devices will deal with more material handling and not just ink as seen with ink jet devices. In the case of ink jet printer modules, the fluid...
As engineering models increasingly are described by solid models, there has been a change in the character of hardcopy output devices found in engineering labs. Pen plotters are adequate for creating...
MEMS inspection and testing encompasses physical and chemical examination of structures using SEM or optical microscopy, ellipsometry, spectroscopy or other analytical technique. MEMS testing is...