With MEMpax®, SCHOTT North America, Inc. is now introducing a new, thinner, high quality borosilicate glass to the market for use in micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. It will be available in thicknesses from 1.1 mm down to 0.1 mm.
MEMpax® has physical, thermal and chemical properties similar to Borofloat® 33. Due to a modified manufacturing process, MEMpax® can be finished with a fire-polished surface, a new development which is very beneficial for MEMS and other ultra-thin borosilicate glass applications.
To attain a glass that is wafer-thin, SCHOTT incorporates the same production process used to create other ultra-thin sheet glass products like AF32® and D 263®. The MEMpax® produced in this manner then receives a fire-polishing which gives the glass an extremely high-quality and pristine surface and offers processing cost advantages.
“Our new MEMpax® borosilicate glass provides a major advantage for the market,” said Uwe Wilkens, Product Manager of Electronics & Biotech at SCHOTT Advanced Optics. “With its thickness range offered down to 0.1 mm and its superior surface quality, it is ideal for use in areas that require extremely thin borosilicate glasses.
The material properties of MEMpax® allow anodic bonding with silicon wafers: Under the influence of temperature and pressure, ions diffuse between silicon and glass, which results in a hermetic bond. In addition, the coefficient of thermal expansion of MEMpax® corresponds to that of silicon, which results in no bending due to the differences in expansion when the glass-silicon compounds are subjected to heat.
Thanks to its low alkali content, MEMpax® acts as a high-quality insulator. For this reason, the glass is also suited for applications requiring good dielectric properties at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Celsius.
Further applications for the new MEMpax® include all areas in which glass-silicon compounds play a role. Here, glass takes on the function of protecting the silicon wafers inside the sensors or connecting various components. “The demand for MEMS components in the consumer electronics sector in particular, e.g. as movement sensors in mobile phones, or video game consoles, continues to grow. We consider this to be an important field of business growth for our thin special glasses which will enable many new applications in the future,” Uwe Wilkens concludes.