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Structuring of Green Sheets and Laminates for Multilayer Ceramic Microsystems with a Combined Laser and Punching Machine
Keywords: ceramic microsystems, laser structuring, punching
Multilayer ceramics technology, such as LTCC, offers certain advantages, when it comes to realize miniaturized 3D-structures. Its integration potential, the chemical inertness and mechanical stability of the ceramic material make it ideally suited for the fabrication of microsystems. Accordingly, a number of ceramic microsystem applications have been realized in the past. Among them are force, pressure and inertia sensors, chemical reactors, micro channel coolers and fuel cells. However none of them has made it into a product yet. There is a variety of reasons for that. Some applications may be just on the brink of a product stage. But one key factor for the commercialization of those prototypes are undoubtedly manufacturing costs. The paper, which is herewith suggested, will focus on some challenges of larger scale manufacturing of ceramic microsystems, which have to be solved in order to make the production cost-effective and finally bring those fine ceramic microsystems out of the laboratory and into the real life. The paper will thereto present current examples of ceramic microsystems, such as pressure sensors and micro fuel cells. Special attention will be paid to the different structuring techniques, which can be applied to green ceramic foils and laminates, mechanical punching and laser machining (drilling, cutting, ablating). Whereas punching, as a cold process, yields exact reproducible structures which is desirable for nozzles or vias laser structuring is much more flexible, but it introduces heat into a heat sensitive material. Aspects of debindering and glazing during laser machining and their consequences to subsequent process steps will be discussed. The combination of both a mechanical punching tool and a laser processing head in one single machine will be presented.
Gunter Hagen,
KMS Technology Center GmbH
Dresden, Saxony D-01217,
Germany


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