Laser-Induced Deep Etching (LIDE)

High-aspect ratio microfeatures in glass

What is LIDE?

LIDE stands for laser induced deep etching

LIDE technology is a two-step process. It is characterized by the ability to create deep structures in thin glass with a high aspect ratio in the range of >1:10 at a highly-economical processing speed not seen before. Structures as small as <5 μm can be created.

Step 1:

In the first step, the glass is locally modified by laser pulses according to the desired layout. In LIDE, a single laser pulse is sufficient to modify glass substrates through their entire thickness, making it compatible with high-volume production.

Step 2:

In the second process step, the modified areas of the glass are removed by wet chemical etching much more rapidly than the unmodified material is.

 Outstanding characteristics of LIDE technology


LIDE technology exhibits exceptional properties, rendering it a real breakthrough in microsystems technology.
Micro features

Features of less than 5 µm can be created by LIDE technology.

 

High aspect ratio

Typical aspect ratios of LIDE-generated micro-features are in the range of 1:10 but they can also be as high as 1:50 under certain conditions.

Break strength

LIDE technology is free of micro-cracks, chipping, induced stresses and the like. LIDE processing of glasses does not diminish the good mechanical properties of glass as it can be found in state-of-the art glass-processing technologies.

Side wall micro-holes

The side walls of LIDE-generated micro-holes are smooth, crack-free, chip-free, and stress-free making reliable metallization possible. The taper angle is between 0.1°-30°.

 

Cutting facet

The side wall of LIDE-generated micro-holes has a roughness of less than Ra<0.08 µm.

Substrate size

All wafers sizes: 100 mm, 150 mm, 200 mm, 300 mm, 450 mm
Panel formats: smaller than 510 x 510 mm²
Glass thickness: 0.9 mm

 

Glass types

LIDE does not rely on special glasses. The technology is compatible with all commercially-available silicate-based glass types from different vendors.

Why glass?

A low-cost material with a unique set of properties.

Glass is of great interest as a material for a variety of applications in micro systems technology due to its unique set of properties. Thin glass is available in various formats such as wafer- and panel-size formats.

General properties driving glass applications:

  • Optical
    • High transparency
    • Low fluorescence
  • Chemical and mechanical
    • High chemical resistance and chemically inert
    • Isotropic
    • Good mechanical stability
    • Low thermal expansion
    • Tunable coefficient of thermal expansion
  • Electrical
    • Perfect isolator
    • Low insertion loss
    • Smooth surface enabling fine-line lithography

Wafer or panel substrates

Material thickness of 50 μm to 900 μm