SBIR Phase I: Innovative and Cost-Effective Packaging Technology for Nanoblock IC-Based Microelectronic Systems

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
3911 Singer Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Michael Renn
(505) 761-8250
Business Contact:
David Keicher
(505) 761-8250
Research Institute:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of using Optomec's Maskless Mesoscale Materials Deposition (M3DTM) technology for packaging NanoBlockTM IC-based microelectronic devices. The assembly of microelectronic systems based on NanoBlockTM ICs presents a number of unique challenges. Unlike the traditional packaging technology in which the electronic components are assembled to a board with pre-printed circuitry, the NanoBlockTM IC-based assembly involves the creation of patterned interconnect structures, not before but, after the ICs are assembled. These interconnects are currently produced by using complex and costly thin film and lithography methods, which are environmentally unfriendly, inflexible, require a highly skilled workforce, and significant capital investment. The objective of this Phase I project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using the M3DTM process for packaging NanoBlockTM IC-based microelectronic devices. M3DTM is an additive process, which deposits a wide variety of materials onto low-temperature substrates without masks or other thin-film equipment. The material is deposited and patterned by an aerosol micro-jet and then laser sintered to achieve properties near that of the bulk material. The research will involve formulation of the deposited materials, optimization of process parameters, and characterization of the electrical properties and geometrical features of deposited materials. The successful implementation of the M3DTM technology for packaging NanoBlockTM -based microelectronic systems would greatly expand the applications for NanoBlockTM IC-based microelectronic devices due to the substantial cost reductions that would be realized. The benefits of such a technology are vast and will allow a dramatic reduction in production cost and time, while being able to perform design iterations in a matter of minutes or hours, compared to the traditional several weeks turn-around time for the conventional photoresist/mask process. The electronics industry and defense sectors would benefit in several applications areas including Radio Frequency Identity Devices (RFID), micro-sensor systems, prototype development, and flexible displays. The significant potential commercial impact of the project results from the fact that the global shipments of RFID systems alone reached approximately $965 million in 2002. The RFID market experienced roughly 8% compounded annual growth since 2000. The top-ranked consumer products companies will need more than 550 billion smart tags per year for tracking merchandise. The military applications for the NanoBlockTM -based devices, especially micro-sensors, are also extensive. Another important consideration is the environmental impact. The proposed technology provides significant environmental benefits by eliminating the energy and water waste and hazardous chemicals associated with traditional manufacturing methods.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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