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Optimal Process Parameters and Approaches Using Structuration of Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics (LTCC) for MEMS Devices
Keywords: LTCC , MEMS, sensors and actuators
This paper details the properties and associated process parameters of Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics (LTCC) technology. The advantages of LTCC in terms of frequency response, cost and ease of fabrication over many other packaging materials are presented. Concern is drawn towards its applications in microelectronics and Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) packaging and also non conventional approaches leading to building of various sensor and actuators. The variations in packaging processes and issues in those are detailed whilst using LTCC as a MEMS packaging material. Great stress is laid on the much unexplored domain of using LTCC as a building material for sensor and actuator applications. Structuration approaches for LTCC are explained as applicable to building of MEMS sensors and actuators. The deviation in conventional LTCC process parameters in the formation of vias, cavities, fluidic channels and membranes as applicable to MEMS with LTCC are explained. Sensors especially include ‘milli Newton force sensor’, isotactic pressure sensor, inclination sensor and viscosity sensor. Actuators are also described; in particular RF MEMS switches on LTCC and their enhancement in few response parameters. Free standing structures are developed with the ‘powder technology’, using graphite based (GB) sacrificial pastes. Alternate technologies like the mineral based sacrificial layers are also explored. The preparation, characterization and evaluation of the GB pastes are detailed. The integration of electronic circuitry with these devices would be and extension of the conventional LTCC process to the newly developed LTCC device technology. The properties of the tapes are detailed and associated with the structuration process steps of lamination, sintering, etc. The underlying issues are highlighted and so are the compromises. Issues with delamination, shrinkage, swelling warpage and sagging are investigated. A ‘roadmap’ is drawn for 3D structuration of LTCC in terms of most of the parameters which are felt would matter the most.
K. Suhas , Student
BMS College of Engineering
Bangalore, Karnataka 560050,
India


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