Ongoing development in electrical systems and circuits lead to increasing complexity and also increasing requirements in today’s thin-film substrates. Settled traditionally in between the semiconductor circuits and the standard PCB applications, thin-film substrates often provide an essential link between these two worlds.
Recent developments in Cicor’s thin-film processes allowed for the production of multi-layer substrates for various applications. Besides standard rigid thin-film substrates, carrying the metal and insulator stacks, also flexible multilayer applications are possible.
The nature of flexibility leads to the exquisite suitability for medical and biological applications, whereby the individual properties have to be adjusted to fit the specific application requirements. A major advantage in contrary to the PCB-based flexible multilayer substrates are the higher achievable resolution (smaller lines and spaces), as well as a wider spectrum of usable materials. Also the possibility of simple handling during surgery and biocompatibility, when used for medical implants, are some of the key requirements on such parts.
Different kind of products and prototyping was carried out by Reinhardt Microtech in the field of flexible multilayer substrates for medical use. Some applications hereby lie in the field of retinal implants which can be used for, at least partially, regaining sight for blind people. An example of such a system is combined of a low-power CMOS vision IC, which is operating with DC free supply, flexible multi-layer carrier substrate, and additional peripheral equipment.
Additional opportunities are in the field of measuring devices, used e.g. for online measurements during surgery, which are tracking important parameters of the human body.
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