“Fold Art usable to make 3D structures microelectronics”




A PhD student at the University of Twente proposes to use folding techniques in making microelectronics. This would achieve three-dimensional design at the micro level. He was inspired by the Japanese art of folding origami.

Currently, applications of micro-electronics in particular two-dimensional, though more and more technology manufacturers over to three-dimensional design, such as memory and 3d stacked transistors. In addition to advantages as a smaller size, there may be other advantages to make use of 3D-designs, for example, for a more efficient layout. According to Antoine Legrain, a PhD student at the University of Twente, is folding one of the most elegant ways to create 3D structures.

In a thesis he argues that techniques of the Japanese art of folding origami can be used for electronics and mechanics at the macro as well as micro-level. For the latter, he demonstrated this with structures having a diameter of 0.2 millimeters. “I am using surface tension of liquids, for the folding of micro-structures,” said Legrain, “We do this to evaporate by small drops of water. The drops are applied on flexible structures, which thereby collapse. If we do a good design, remaining after the evaporation of the folded structure because parts stick together. ”

The application of the droplets takes place with an injection needle, which is an obstacle to large-scale production. However, it succeeded Legrain also drops to apply by means of a micro-channel on the structure to be folded. This method would have more prospects for mass production. Additionally, he managed to submerge a container with thousands of ribbons in water and drying, to fold them at one time.

This would be important in the investigation of electrical connections to movable parts. “We think it is possible in the same way to fold complex structures, but this requires further follow-up study” decision Legrain. His thesis’ Elastocapillary Self-folding or micro-machined Structures, capillary Origami “and he conducted his PhD research at the Faculty of EWI and the group Transducers Science and Technology of the MESA + -instituut for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente.

MIT researchers do also investigate the bending of materials for MEMS hardware. They make use of structural stresses in silicon, which occur when the material is machined. With an algorithm calculated the researchers, the mechanical tension which is necessary for bending into the desired shape of the structures.

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