New Mexico Patent of the Month – August 2021

As radio frequency (RF) devices advance, they use higher and higher power. Certain classes of RF devices produce pulses at voltages greater than 10V and at currents greater than 2 Amps. At this level, if switched on and off, it creates harmonic signals which disrupt the operation of the circuit. While large value integrated silicon based capacitors are used, they fail to achieve the required capacitance and ultimately experience dielectric breakdown. 3D Glass Solutions, Inc. has developed an alternative substrate which uses photosensitive glass substrates to overcome these limitations. 

Their integrated photodefinable glass-ceramics can be converted from a glass phase to a ceramic phase through a combination of ultraviolet light exposure and thermal treatments. Selective application of UV light exposure – either by a photo mask or a shadow mask – creates regions of ceramic material in the photodefinable glass. 

The photodefinable glass materials are processed with first generation semiconductor equipment. The final materials are fashioned into either glass, ceramic, or a mix of the two. This material is more advantageous for fabrication of microsystems in chips and packages. Glass has high temperature stability, good mechanical and electrical properties, and a better chemical resistance than plastics or metals. Exposure to UV light, a series of reactions cause silver oxide to form silver atoms which lead to silver nano-clusters during a heat treatment. This process creates large surface area capacitors that more than suit the needs for an integrated power conditioning capacitance density. Overall, the design and fabrication process produces cost effective glass ceramic 3D capacitor structures.

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