Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Copper, gold and tin for efficient chips

Date:
December 6, 2012
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
With gold, copper or tin and special galvanizing processes, scientists are improving the function of semi-conductors and making the manufacture of microelectronic systems a child‘s play. Especially the LED industry could profit from this.

An employee at the MST Lab & Fab, where the post processing of chips takes place.
Credit: Fraunhofer IMS

With gold, copper or tin and special galvanizing processes, scientists are improving the function of semi-conductors and making the manufacture of microelectronic systems a child's play. Especially the LED industry could profit from this.

They are particularly small, durable and economical: LEDs have conquered the automotive industry; it is already possible today to recognize the make of a car by the design of the LED headlights. Whether in the interior, displays, infotainment system or brake lights, parking lights or fog lights -- a modern car offers many possibilities for LED technology to be used for lighting. Unlike the traditional halogen or xenon lights, light emitting diodes need LED drivers. Their most important task: they must continuously supply the light diodes with power. In addition, they are to carry out complex tasks and to control, for example, several LEDs in series, or switch individual ones on in multiple stages if the interior lighting is to be dimmable.

The requirements relating to the drivers are enormous: they must be immune to the high temperature and voltage differences in a car or be resistant to aggressive chemicals. In order to guarantee reliable luminosity, a higher voltage must flow through the circuits of the LED drivers. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS offer manufacturers a process to manufacture the chips that suit these applications: it is based on galvanization, a process in the semiconductor industry, in which special metals are deposited on the semiconductors.

Copper for increased current flow

However, Prof. Holger Vogt's department at the IMS, is backing copper, in particular. "This way, we can have more current flow through the chips," explains Vogt. That is important, because for most applications the chips must become smaller and smaller -- the current that flows through them, however, stays the same. However, integrating new materials, such as a layer of copper, is not always without problems, since there are limits to the regular processes for manufacturing chips. It is for this reason that the scientists at the IMS specifically constructed a manufacturing line for "post processing" -- the MST Lab & Fab -- to be able to subsequently improve the chips on the substrate wafers, depending on the requirements of the application.

In addition to copper, the engineers are also able to deposit other metals or compounds such as copper-tin or gold-tin onto the chips. "These layers can be soldered," explains Vogt. That offers a substantial advantage: the cover can be soldered onto the chip, right there on the wafer. "The result is the smallest housing for a chip that can be had," says Vogt. It can be used to surround and protect sensitive sensors without negatively affecting their functionality. One example is bolometers, sensors that are used to measure temperature. Because the housings for bolometers must additionally also be put into a vacuum environment to provide accurate measurements, their manufacture to date has been very complex and thus expensive. However, with the help of the MST Lab & Fab, housings that are cost-effective and therefore suitable for mass production can be manufactured.

In addition, the researchers in the MST Lab & Fab have been able to construct complex components within a single housing. The are able to solder two chips, such as an opto-chip with highly sensitive photo sensors with a CMOS-Chip (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) which can measure individual photons, to each other, using the copper galvanization process. Such microelectronic components are suitable for night-vision devices or for low-light microscope applications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Copper, gold and tin for efficient chips." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206121858.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2012, December 6). Copper, gold and tin for efficient chips. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206121858.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Copper, gold and tin for efficient chips." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121206121858.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins