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Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts Using Integrated Micromagnets

Obviates Human or Robotic Action in Assembling Advanced Microscale Electrical Components

This alternative magnetic assembly system integrates the magnets onto micro part surfaces to enable self-assembly. Over the past few decades, electronics and photonic devices have increased in complexity as they have become more integrated. This trend toward more compact and integrated devices has challenged conventional assembly processes that rely heavily on human and robotic manipulation. Available assembly procedures for microscale electrical components are limited by cost and in speed and throughput for high volume production. Moreover, as part sizes continue to decrease, conventional component manipulators are incapable of the precision required for microscale and nanoscale fabrication.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a microscale assembly procedure that uses batch-fabricated, thin-film magnets integrated onto the micro part surfaces to enable precise self-assembly at high throughput. This system will aid the development of advanced electronics, such as micro batteries and multi-chip microsystems, revolutionizing electronic engineering.

 

Applications

Magnetic self-assembly of microscale parts that improve the fabrication of multi-chip microsystems, including RFID tags, microbatteries, MEMS, power systems, and electro-optics

 

Advantages

  • Satisfies precision requirements of microscale technologies, eliminating the random errors posed by conventional assembly methods
  • Removes the need for human or robotic manipulation during assembly, reducing product manufacturing costs
  • Enables high volume, low-cost manufacturing of complex devices, increasing market infiltration and providing huge profit potential
  • Incorporates easily into existing assembly processes, improving microsystem fabrication while minimizing capital investment

Technology

This magnetic self-assembly of multi-chip microsystems uses miniaturized magnets integrated into the surfaces of microscale parts. The integrated magnets cause chips to bind to one another in a predetermined configuration. The micromagnets integrate easily into the chips at the wafer lever using standard, low-cost, back-end microfabrication processes. The process is very amenable to flip-chip bonding, self-packaged devices, stacked dies, thinned dies, and other devices requiring complex microassembly. During self-assembly, the micromagnets align and hold the parts in place for subsequent heating of solder bumps or other die-attach epoxies.

Patent Information:
App Type: Patent No.: Patent Status:
CIP 8,138,868 Issued