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Bulk vs Surface Micromachining of Silicon December 28, 2012

Posted by viboon in : Manufacturing technologies , trackback

Today, the shrinking size and growing need for sophisticated components used in all types of devices are fueling demand for fabrication techniques that can mass-produce parts ranging from a micron to a few millimeters.

An early method, bulk micromachining, involves coating and etching a silicon wafer that serves as the chip’s structure. The newer technique, called surface micromachining, involves deposition of silicon layers on a substrate’s surface to create the chip’s structure. It offers numerous advantages compared to bulk machining.

Bulk micromachining sculpts the moving pieces by removing material from a relatively thick substrate, which is not complementary to the demands of high-volume IC processes. Surface micromachining, on the other hand, involves depositing thin films on the substrate and then etching them. Surface micromachining typically allows production of structures 20 times smaller than the bulk method. It enables the most functionality and the highest performance in the smallest and most cost-effective package.

Ref: Kennedy, B. (2008). Additive value: New and revamped technologies for mass fabricating microparts. Micromanufacturing, Vol. 1(1), pp.24-28.


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