Sensors Mag

DOE Contract to Develop High-Temperature Microelectronics Packaging

November 1, 2006

Sporian Microsystems' packaging will allow sensors to perform for prolonged intervals in harsh environments involving temperatures of more than 1000° C.

Lafayette, CO (from release) - Sporian Microsystems Inc., a pioneer in high-temperature packaging technology, has won a contract from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a universal high temperature packaging platform.

Sporian will make use of its experience with polymer-derived ceramics from which it has created sensors for high temperature and harsh environmental applications. The ceramic material shows promise in its fabrication viability and for performing in high temperature, harsh environments such as those associated with energy generation applications.

The company is creating a packaging platform for existing and developmental high temperature sensors that will allow the sensing device to survive and perform for prolonged periods of time in an application environment which generally includes temperatures above 1000° C, elevated pressure, and an assortment of chemicals. Sporian will work to create a universal packaging platform to accommodate a wide variety of potential and existing sensor designs.

"The difficulty today is that researchers are developing sensors that push the envelope in terms of temperature and harsh environment capability. However they are limited in ways to bring that sensor from the laboratory to real world applications. A packaging platform that would accommodate a large audience of high temperature sensor developers is exactly what will bring technology from the lab to real world applications, stated Wedge Zhang, Vice President of R&D at Sporian.

Sporian is working with a variety of high temperature and energy generation research groups to establish the most universal packaging approach. Organizations including the University of Utah and the Propulsion Instrumentation Working Group (PIWG) are providing feedback. The major proportion of future MEMS and sensor applications requires the operation in harsh environments, such as high temperature and aggressive gas and fluid media. With high temperature applications constituting a major part of these future markets, suitable packaging solutions become the key bottleneck for success, says Prof. Florian Solzbacher, Director of the Microsystems Laboratory at the University of Utah.

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