A wide variety of innovative microsystems developments can be found in the automotive, bio-analysis, environmental and medical, chemical and pharmaceutical or even the telecommunications industries. Tasks that until recently required considerably larger components can now be performed by microscopic sensors and actuators.

By focusing on the Surface Micromachining process, microfab has carved a unique position in the MEMS world for its products by offering MEMS Devices. Our reference projects include Silicon Microphones, Pressure Sensors, Fluidic Check Valves and Ultrasonic Transducers, to name but a few.

Silicon microphones

microfab has gained distinctive expertise in surface micromachining technology dedicated to the design and serial fabrication of acoustic MEMS devices, such as silicon microphones and ultrasound transducers (c-MUTs).

The elementary building blocks of all capacitive acoustic transducers are membranes, either actuated by electrostatic forces or by sound waves, which have to be well controlled in terms of mechanical stress and layer thickness. microfab uses dedicated LPCVD (low-pressure chemical vapor deposition) processes, such as silicon-rich nitrides or in-situ doped polysilicon in combination with sacrificial layer technologies to build such functional layers. All technologies are proven to be capable for serial production in high-volumes and are routinely applied for customized components running at microfab.

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In comparison to conventional bulk-micromachined piezoresitive pressure sensors, the innovative microfab development features numerous improvements, including the exceptionally small volume of less than 0.4 mm³ – an advantage that opens up completely new application options.
Thanks to the implemented capacitive measurement principle on a non-conductive fused-silica substrate, the pressure sensor only displays extremely low parasitic effects. The sensor is also particularly resistant against external influences like shock pressure, temperature or incidental light. The high sensitivity of the sensor is also noteworthy: despite its broad gauging range a high degree of sensitivity is guaranteed.
The surface micro-machined capacitive pressure sensor needs only extremely little energy for sensor evaluation and the constructive design permits great flexibility when it comes to packaging.

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Ultrasonic transducers c-MUT

microfab´s capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (c-MUT) is a relatively new concept in the field of ultrasonic transducers. Most of the commercial ultrasonic transducers today are based on piezoelectric materials. c-MUTs are constructed on silicon using micromachining techniques. A cavity is formed in a silicon substrate, and a thin layer suspended on the top of the cavity serves as a membrane on which a conductive layer acts as top electrode, together with the silicon substrate which serves as a bottom electrode.

As c-MUTs are micromachined devices, it is easier to construct 2D arrays of transducers using this technology. This means large numbers of c-MUTs could be included in a transducer array.

Due to its smaller dimensions, it is easier to achieve a high frequency operation with cMUTs.

To achieve a high frequency operation using c-MUTs is easier due to its smaller dimensions. The frequency of operation depends on the cell size (cavity of membrane), and on the stiffness of the material used as a membrane.

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All-in-one Check valve including nozzles

microfab has developed a patented micro check valve that can be used for all fluidic applications in which extremely miniaturized components are required. Together with the freely designable nozzles, fluidic spray-nozzles can be offered, which can be adapted to the needs of the application from the finest mist to a directed liquid jet.

Fully integrated, this combination of non-return valve and nozzle application brings great advantages wherever small space requirements and high integration density are important.

For additional information and details, please don’t hesitate
to contact our team.

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