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I do part time work packaging FIBbed gizmos, the 'machinist' has done at best a 50nm diameter aperture in metal film (from what I recall, maybe it was 100nm) using a beam diameter of 10nm. This is on a machine that was new 20 years ago (newer machines are probably 5 to 10X better in terms of hardware these days, maybe 50X in software). Also, ASML is researching multi-beam electron steppers and getting more traction lately: http://semiengineering.com/multi-beam-market-heats-up/ (from 2 months ago)



So, what's involved in packaging them? I'm thinking along the lines of me coming up with a custom circuit that I print onto silicon, package into a chip, and put that sucker on a PCB. I figured the packaging would take similarly, specialized equipment given it's so tiny. Is it built into FIB equipment? Extra? How easy is it to use?

I always see articles on the ebeams and FIB showing how they work. Nothing on packaging.


Oh, by 'package' I meant heat-seal in plastic bags. 'Packaging' a silicon chip for electrical use should be pretty similar regardless of the production technique, given chemical compatibility, stress/strain of the chip and how packaging would add/affect that. There's wirebonding which is basically soldering wires from the silicon to some larger package-scale traces/larger-wires (often embedded in the package structure). There are a few ways of getting the actual FIBbed gizmo onto something macro-scale. Sometimes the thing you start with is large enough to handle easily, sometimes you bring in a CNC manipulator, use FIB to solder your gizmo to the manipulator, move the manipulator elsewhere and then 'tack weld' down your gizmo there and mill away the connection to the manipulator. Some systems have micro/nano vacuum manipulators. I bet on the high-end piezos are used to move things, but I am sure at some relatively larger scale mechanical movement wouldn't be too hard to use (depending on how cheap you need things to be, and how many times you want to repeat doing such connections).


Thanks for details. All sounds pretty exotic. :)




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