SBIR Phase I: Nanoparticle Gaskets for Room Temperature MEMS Packaging

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0539799
Agency Tracking Number: 0539799
Amount: $99,618.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
2020 Centimeter Circle, Austin, TX, 78758
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Nate Potter
 (512) 997-7781
Business Contact
 Mark Eaton
Title: Mr
Phone: (512) 997-7781
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a "nanogasket" technology using loose and compacted metallic nanoparticles for a cold weld MEMS packaging system called compression bonded hermetic packaging (CBHP). CBHP will enable low-cost, room temperature, hermetic packaging of MEMS. Room temperature packaging is vital to improving the production yields of many MEMS, especially optical MEMS (MEOMS). Remarkable melting point depression and grain boundary sliding phenomena observed in nanoparticle structures suggest that the use of nanogaskets in the CBHP system could enable the use of cold weld gasket materials with far higher yields strengths than would otherwise be possible on silicon wafers and other MEMS substrates, for packaging at the wafer scale. Phase I research objectives are to demonstrate this effect with sourced bulk and in situ produced nanoparticles. Phase II will result in the construction of a nanogasket version of manual vacuum sealing machine that can package small runs in a foundry operation at SMD (Stellar Micro Devices). Commercially, complex MEMS are the first commercial target for this technology in a $7 billion MEMS market. As tools and package supplies become more widely available, the technology will be applied to mass market MEMS through a larger foundry and franchising of the manufacturing process to volume producers.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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