25 October 2011

Lasers enable assembly of ultrathin chips

A team of researchers has developed a laser assisted process for assembling extremely thin semiconductor chips onto rigid and flexible substrates to create conformal circuits.

According to a team from North Dakota State University Centre for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the laser enabled advanced packaging (LEAP) process enables chips less than 50µm thick to be rapidly placed and fixed at specific locations and orientations with high precision.

The technology has the potential to enable high volume handling, placement and interconnection of miniature microelectronic components, including active and passive embedded components.

According to Aaron Reinholz, associate director for electronics technology at NDSU CNSE, pictured, the 'thermo mechanical selective laser assisted die transfer (sladt) process produces flexible electronic and photonic devices. These are conformal for different shapes and can be bent or rolled.

"The LEAP technology and SLADT process are important because they potentially enable a new class of inexpensive electronic devices by the high volume placement and interconnection of various types of ultra thin, fine pitch, active and passive circuit components," he said. "These types of components are especially of interest for flex substrate electronics, as they allow devices to bend, roll, and be manipulated into complex geometries." Such devices include garment integrated rfid tags, intelligent sensors platforms, and self adapting conformal antennas.

Chris Shaw

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