High-temperature electronics operate at 300°C

January 25, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Sensors and actuators in industrial and automotive applications are increasingly deployed in environments with high temperatures. Examples are sensors in engines and transmissions where the bare semiconductors are frequently submerged in the hot lubrication oil. Standard semiconductors and components however can be used to a maximum of just 125°C. In the joint R&D project HOT 300, five Fraunhofer institutes developed a number of basic technology components for high-temperature microsystems.

According to the analysis of the Fraunhofer institutes, the market for high-temperature is in need of components and connecting technologies that reliably work at temperatures up to 300°C - and at the same time at higher package density than available electronic components. This requirement however calls for entirely new approaches to system integration. In the HOT 300 project, the Fraunhofer institutes devised these approaches and techniques. Recently the group presented the results of its activities.

Among others, the five Fraunhofer institutes introduced a CMOS chip technology as well as an MEMS-based multifunctional sensor; both are intended to serve as basis semiconductor components for 300°C electronics. The designs are utilising ceramics-based substrates and metallic lead frames. For the encapsulation, the scientists developed a novel polymer ceramics material. To ensure temperature-stable interconnect of chip, substrate and package, the group also developed specific methods of diffusion soldering and sinter processes as well as ways to bond ceramics and silicon.

Operating temperatures up to 300°C also require new reliability models. Fault analysis for micro and nano structures, mechanical parameter determination and thermal shock resistance have been further developed and adapted to the wider temperature range, resulting in enhanced reliability models. The technologies developed are now offered to interested commercial parties.

Involved were the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits (IMS), Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS), Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Mechanics (IWM) and Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM).

Further information: http://www.ims.fraunhofer.de/en/institute.html