MST Lab&Fab

In our Microsystems Lab&Fab we develop manufacturing processes and complete intelligent microsystems for our customers.

Microsystems Lab&Fab

In addition to the CMOS line Fraunhofer IMS operates its own microsystems technology line (MST Lab&Fab), which enables the post-processinf of CMOS wafers and the integration of micromechanical, optical or other structures on the wafer to create new components.

The microsystem technology (MST) and microelectronics become closely interlinked when it comes to the creation of compact, ”intelligent” sensors and actuators. MST should be seen as an extension of the CMOS technology: CMOS provides the electronics and MST delivers the sensor and actuator functions.

MST processes use semiconductor manufacturing equipment and profit from the diverse experience that the silicon semiconductor technology has built. If there are very small systems requested, small signals to be read out on short routes or there are arrays of sensors, the integration of the MST structures directly on the CMOS is recommended. The application possibilities of CMOS technology can be extended significantly without depending on expensive scaling to minute structures. That is why we at Fraunhofer IMS built our Microsystems Lab&Fab with the support of the state of NRW, the BMBF and the EU. In our facilities we use post-processing on CMOS to develop production processes and complete intelligent microsystems for our customers.

Infrastructure of Microsystems Lab&Fab

The infrastructure of the MSTLab&Fab provides various development possibilities and allows for the complete mapping of complex MST processes on 200 mm discs. Apart from the high-resolution lithography and modern etching processes (isotropic etching with HF and XeF2 for sacrificial layers, deep etching for TSVs), there are various possibilities for the deposition of ultrathin functional layers with ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) to be mentioned as well.

Offers and services

As a competent partner in the field of microsystem technology (development of process steps, process modules and complete microtechnological sensor systems) and their design Fraunhofer IMS offers the following options in our MST Lab&Fab:

Layer deposition

  • Metallizations (sputtering, electroplating)
  • (PE)CVD (Oxide, Nitride, aSi(Ge), DLC, SiC etc.
  • Atomic Layer Deposition

Etching processes

  • Isotropic etching with XeF2 and HF
  • Deep etching (Bosch process)
  • Plasma etching (anisotropic)
  • Wet etching of different materials

Wafer/chip modification

  • Wafer-to-wafer bonding
  • Wafer thinning
  • Flip chip bonding
  • Wafer structurization (Bosch process)
  • Cu/Ni/Sn- and Au-electroplating
  • Furnace processes (annealing, oxidation)


  • Normal (1-3 µm) and thick photoresists (up to 20 µm)
  • Spray-coating
  • Polyimide, color filters, micro lenses
  • Mask aligner and 350 nm wafer stepper

Measurement technology

  • Ellipsometer
  • AFM
  • High-resolution electron microscope
  • Deflection, 4-point resistance, step height
  • CD/Overlay

MST – process steps and process modules

Deposition and structuring of layers on 200 mm CMOS discs, for example amorphous Si/Ge,DLC, SiO2, Si3N4, Atomic Layer Deposition (e.g. Al2O3, Ta2O5), PVD of metals, electroplating of Cu, Sn, Ni, Au

  • Lithography with precise adjustment of front- and backside of the disc < 200 nm
  • Color filters and micro lenses for optical components
  • Si-deep etching
  • Wafer-to-wafer and chip-to-wafer bonding
  • Chip-scale vacuum housing

MST – process and process module development

Development and transfer of process modules for the production of ”stand alone” MOEMS and functional micro structures like sieves, membranes etc.

  • Development and transfer of entire processes for processing of integrated MOEMS on bulk or CMOS substrates, processing of glass wafers
  • Production of prototypes in small series in the customer-specific processes of the CMOS and MST lines
  • Conduction of customer-specific studies

Application examples

  • Microbolometer arrays for LWIR
  • Mechanical sensors, e. g. pressure sensors or acoustic transducers
  • Optical special components
  • Sensor elements , for example for biosensors or chemical sensors

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