German manufacturer X-Fab Silicon Foundries SE has added microfluidic elements to its complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) and silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer manufacturing for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based technology.
X-Fab said the new process capabilities will help to remove barriers to market entry and shorten development cycles for MEMS-based electronic device design.
The extension to its process capabilities include:
- Noble metal electrode arrays
- Inorganic layers for surface passivation and protection
- Deep silicon trenches and cavities
- Bonded silicon or glass lid wafers
- Polymeric fluidic structures
X-Fab has made about $25 million worth of investments in silicon-based microfluidics in the past five years including applications such as lab-on-a-chip, DNA sequencing and synthesis, cancer diagnostics and more. The company is expanding its portfolio of standard process blocks covering these capabilities. This will allow the re-use of existing process IP and accelerate product development cycles as well as scale up to volume production.
X-Fab said the silicon-based microfluidics MEMS technology could open new opportunities such as MEMS solutions for drug administering, flow metering and pollution monitoring.