Bringing microelectronics to new dimensions

Credit: Erik Hagen Waller, Julian Karst, and Georg von Freymann

Metabolic microstructures are key components in almost all conventional or emerging technologies. For example, with the next level of wireless communication (6G) established, there is no need to meet advanced components and especially antennas. The drive to even higher frequencies and deeper integration goes hand in hand with miniaturization and on-chip-capable manufacturing technologies. Through direct laser writing – an additive manufacturing technology that offers sub-micron accuracy and feature sizes – highly dynamic and integrated parts come into play.

One key advantage of direct laser writing is that it is not limited to the making of planar structures but enables almost irregular 3D microstructures. This greatly increases the options available to parts or machine designers and offers great potential for, e.g., antenna performance improvement: lower feed loss has a higher gain, efficiency and bandwidth for 3D antennas compared to their planar counterparts. These benefits become more apparent as the frequency increases.

In a recent paper published in Light: advanced manufacturing, a team of scientists from the Fraunhofer ITWM, the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern and the University of Stuttgart have developed a state-of-the-art photosensitive material that enables direct fabrication of real-time microcomponents through direct laser ablation.

“Not only are the resulting structures made of almost 100% silver, but they also have a material density above 95%. In addition, the geometry of an almost irregular structure is possible while and onchip compatibility is maintained by this approach, “said Erik Waller, chief scientist at the project.

The feasibility and strength of the approach was determined by fabricating a polarizer based on a series of helical antennas operating in the infrared spectrum region.

“The material and technology are well-suited for making three-dimensional micrometer-sized parts. Next, we want to show that components are made like that on custom-made slits. We then taking microelectronics to another dimension, “said Georg von Freymann, head of department at ITWM Fraunhofer and professor at Technische Universität Kaiserslauten.

Metasurfaces for handling terahertz waves

Further information:
Erik Hagen Waller et al, Photosensitive Materials Enable Direct Acquisition of 3D Filigree Silver Microstructures through Laser-Inspired Photoreduction, Light: advanced manufacturing (2021). DOI: 10.37188 / lam.2021.008

Presented by Chinese Academy of Sciences

Citation: Bringing microelectronics to new dimensions (2021, March 23) back March 23, 2021 from

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