Publications / SAND Report

Macro-meso-microsystems integration in LTCC : LDRD report

Rohde, Steven B.; Okandan, Murat O.; Pfeifer, Kent B.; De Smet, Dennis J.; Patel, Kamlesh P.; Ho, Clifford K.; Nordquist, Christopher N.; Walker, Charles A.; Rohrer, Brandon R.; Buerger, Stephen B.; Wroblewski, Brian W.

Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic (LTCC) has proven to be an enabling medium for microsystem technologies, because of its desirable electrical, physical, and chemical properties coupled with its capability for rapid prototyping and scalable manufacturing of components. LTCC is viewed as an extension of hybrid microcircuits, and in that function it enables development, testing, and deployment of silicon microsystems. However, its versatility has allowed it to succeed as a microsystem medium in its own right, with applications in non-microelectronic meso-scale devices and in a range of sensor devices. Applications include silicon microfluidic ''chip-and-wire'' systems and fluid grid array (FGA)/microfluidic multichip modules using embedded channels in LTCC, and cofired electro-mechanical systems with moving parts. Both the microfluidic and mechanical system applications are enabled by sacrificial volume materials (SVM), which serve to create and maintain cavities and separation gaps during the lamination and cofiring process. SVMs consisting of thermally fugitive or partially inert materials are easily incorporated. Recognizing the premium on devices that are cofired rather than assembled, we report on functional-as-released and functional-as-fired moving parts. Additional applications for cofired transparent windows, some as small as an optical fiber, are also described. The applications described help pave the way for widespread application of LTCC to biomedical, control, analysis, characterization, and radio frequency (RF) functions for macro-meso-microsystems.