Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More rapid micro-optics inspections

27.11.2009
The EU’s SMARTIEHS project will enable MEMS structures to be tested one hundred times as fast as they can today. This will mean cheaper and more reliable electronic equipment for people you us.

MEMS, or “MicroElectroMechanicalSystems” – deals with tiny circuits that are etched by the thousand on silicon wafers. They are used in mobile telephones, microphones and cars, foe example in sensors in airbags and tyres.

At present, inspecting these systems is a production bottleneck because they must be tested one at a time, which is a time-consuming and expensive process.

Parallel inspection

The EU’s SMARTIEHS (SMART InspEction systems for High Speed and multifunctional testing of MEMS and MOEMS) is developing a new test concept based on parallel inspection of these circuits at wafer level. Testing a hundred units at once reduces the time required from 20 minutes to less than 30 seconds. Not only is this cheaper, but several more functions can be tested simultaneously.

SINTEF is coordinating this project, in which eight European micro-optics heavyweights are participating. They are now at the halfway point in the project.

“It was the industry itself that was looking for better and cheaper methods,” says Kay Gastinger of SINTEF ICT, who is coordinating the project.

“Today, tyre pressure sensors are only electrically tested during production, and theses tests do not guarantee full functionality. The research being performed by SMARTIEHS will mean cheaper sensors and more reliable equipment.

Detects deformations and faults

The research team uses an array of interferometers that can identify an object’s shape, changes in shape and vibration extremely accurately. Standard microprocessor techniques are used to manufactures interferometers, making them cost-effective.

The underlying idea of the project is to produce a specially designed glass wafer that contains as many as 100 interferometers and then use this last to test 100 circuits on a MEMS wafer at one go. The scientists will be able to measure the shape, deformation and resonant frequency of the MEMS chips and thus identify manufacturing faults.

“We have already produced a prototype measurement station that is capable of measuring five chips at a time,” says Gastinger. The prototype consists of three wafers; the lens wafer, mirror wafer and beam-splitter wafer. The top layer contains 25 tiny lenses, which in principle resemble little microscopes and have an imaging function. Micromirrors at the centre of the lenses produce the interference effect.

The research teams are currently at the halfway stage in the project, which will come to an end in 2011, by which time the demonstrator will have been expanded to 50 channels, and the design will enable this number to be easily increased to 100.

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.com

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht How protons move through a fuel cell
22.06.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety
21.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>