MIT chooses Leti to supply suspended microresonators
Categorie(s) : Events, News, Research
Published : 2 April 2015
The news dates back to early 2014 and has been kept under wraps for almost a year. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology biology lab is turning to Leti to develop some highly complex suspended microresonators. After receiving the initial components, which delivered satisfactory performance, the lab decided to switch foundries, and has now placed an order for 1,500 of the resonators with Leti for June.
The resonators boast a beam that vibrates at several hundred kHz and microfluidic channels through which cells flow. The frequency varies depending on the cells’ mass, which can be measured accurately down to the femtogram (10-15 g). This level of precision makes it possible, for instance, to separate cancerous cells from healthy ones.
One of the most technically-complex devices ever made at Leti
According to the researchers at Leti, the microresonator is one of the most technically-complex devices they have ever made. It packs in three substrates (silicon, SOI, and glass) and three sealing techniques (molecular, anode, and eutectic). The width of the microfluidic channels varies from 10 microns to 3 microns all along their path.
The fabrication process includes an impressive 150 steps (compared to just 50 for a traditional MEMS process). The quality factor, at more than 13,000, is very close to the state of the art for this type of resonator.
MIT generally does not initiate this type of partnership with other research organizations. The fact that the school turned to a lab halfway around the world is something Leti can be proud of. In the meantime, the researchers hope that this initial collaboration will lead to new partnerships.