SPTS Technologies, a supplier of advanced wafer processing solutions, and imec, a world-leading nanoelectronics research center have announced a joint partnership to further advance micro- and nanosized components for BioMEMS, using SPTS’ Rapier silicon deep reactive ion etching (Si DRIE) technology.
Micro and nanotechnologies are fast becoming key enablers in medical research, diagnosis and treatment, with rapid developments in areas like DNA sequencing and molecular diagnostics. Imec, as one of the pioneers in the field, is developing the underlying heterogeneous technology and components as the backbone to these life science tools.
One of the most important process techniques in BioMEMS manufacturing is deep silicon etching. It can be used to manufacture devices such as microfluidic channels, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) chambers, mixers and filters. As a leading institute in advanced micro and nanoelectronics research, imec is currently developing lab-on-chip technology for fast SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms) detection in human DNA and a microsized detection system for circulating tumor cells in the human blood stream. The outcome of this research will be products that deliver a better quality of life for current and future generations.
“We chose SPTS as a partner after running extensive wafer demonstrations on their tool, challenging them on the demanding structures required by our current projects,” says Deniz Sabuncuoglu Tezcan, who is leading imec’s Novel Components Integration team. “The results convinced us that the Rapier module can help us create the devices we envisage. The demos also showed that the processes will deliver the high throughputs and repeatability necessary for cost-effective volume production.”
“We are very pleased to be working with imec, a world-renowned institute with a global reputation for developing cutting-edge technology”, said Kevin Crofton, Executive VP and COO of SPTS. “BioMEMS is one of the new frontiers of the MEMS industry and will deliver huge benefits to our health and wellbeing. We’re proud that our technology will be used to develop life-changing devices that will benefit this and future generations”.