STMicroelectronics has announced its next-gen optical MEMS capability called Lab4MEMS II, an extension of its existing Lab4MEMS project, announced in April 2013. Lab4MEMS II is launched by the European Nanoelectronics Initiative Advisory Council (ENIAC) Joint Undertaking (JU), a public-private partnership in nanoelectronics.
Lab4MEMS II is a €26 million ($30 million) project with 20 industrial, academic, and research partners spread across nine European countries.
The Lab4MEMS II project focuses on designing, fabricating, and testing a variety of devices that include optical switches, arrays of micro-mirrors, optical cross-connects, lasers, and micro lenses using micro-optics and standard micromachining technologies to miniaturize and build advanced optical systems.
MOEMS is suggested as perfect platform for future valuable commercial products, such as optical switches, micro-mirror devices and dynamic displays, bi-stable devices, and optical shutters useful in micro-projectors, laser micro-scanners, new-generation Human Machine Interfaces, and micro-spectrometers. One goal of the project is to optimize the production of dual single-axis mirrors as well as to research the possibilities for the development of the dual-axis single mirror.
"The ENIAC JU research agenda is perfectly aligned with ST’s values and commitment to augmenting peoples’ quality of life," said Roberto Zafalon, European Programs Manager, R&D and Public Affairs, STMicroelectronics. "MOEMS is a promising multi-feature technology for miniaturization of critical optical systems that will benefit society, consortium members, and stakeholders, including ENIAC member states by creating valuable knowledge-based employment opportunities, increasing long-term prosperity, and enabling products that benefit society."
The Pilot Line for Lab4MEMS II will expand ST’s operational 200 mm-wafer manufacturing facility in Agrate Brianza for even higher volumes, while adding optical technologies to the mix. Moreover, it would increase the know-how on those strategic enabling technologies while combining scientific skills and the ability to design and manufacture a wide range of smart micro- and nano-systems on silicon. Even so, the project will evaluate the potential benefits and impact of a future move to 300mm wafers.
The ENIAC JU is a public-private partnership involving ENIAC member states, the European Union, and the Association for European Nanoelectronics Activities (AENEAS). It is currently contributing some €1.8 billion towards the costs of numerous R&D projects, which it selects through a competitive process assessing responses to its Calls for Proposals. The Lab4MEMS II project, coordinated by ST, was selected for funding in Fall 2013 and work began in November 2014.
In addition to ST, partners in the Lab4MEMS II project are: the Politecnico di Torino and di Milano; Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per la Nanoelettronica; CNR-IMM MDM; Commissariat Al Energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives; ARKEMA SA; University of Malta; Okmetic Oyj; MURATA Electronics; VTT Memsfab Ltd; Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT; Aalto University; KLA-Tencor ICOS; University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest - CSSNT; Instytut Technologii Elektronowej; Warsaw; Stiftelsen SINTEF; Polewall AS; and Besi Austria GmbH.
STMicroelectronics holds around 1000 MEMS-related patents, and has shipped eight billion MEMS devices with in-house production capabilities of 4 million MEMS devices per day.