Materion Precision Optics Acquires Gettering Capabilities for Wafer Level Processing
Materion Corp.’s Precision Optics business has acquired the proprietary thin film gettering technology and related intellectual property assets from Integrated Sensing Systems (ISS), of Ypsilanti, Michigan, a designer and manufacturer of microelectromechanical (MEMs)-based products and getter technology.
The assets acquired include the NanoGetters technology, patents and trademarks. Getter technology is used to improve the long-term reliability of hermetically sealed sensor packages by capturing moisture and other stray gas molecules. The NanoGetters technology developed by ISS uses a proprietary set of materials that are precisely vacuum deposited, providing an alternative solution to traditional non-evaporative gettering technology. Nanogetter technology offers many advantages over other getter solutions including its compatibility with clean semiconductor processing techniques and its low activation temperature.
NanoGetters materials are already being used by customers worldwide in MEMs to improve vacuum packaging in a wide range of end-use sensor applications including infrared imaging, chemical sensors, microfluidic devices and other electronics devices.
The acquisition provides a technology augmentation and completes the vertical integration of Materion Precision Optics’ wafer level process flow for thermal imaging applications. In 2014, Materion Precision Optics commissioned a 3,000-square-foot class 1,000 clean room with state-of-the-art infrared coating chambers in anticipation of the thermal imaging industry’s ongoing shift from traditional singular window packaging to wafer level packaging (WLP). With this original investment at Westford, Massachusetts, Materion gained the capability to provide customers with two of the process steps for wafer level packaging: optical coating and metallization. With the acquisition of the NanoGetters trade name and getter technology, Materion is now able to provide a full wafer level packaging coating solution to customers, an offering unmatched in the marketplace.
The new gettering capability is expected to facilitate additional business and will enhance the value-added revenue from each wafer processed. Additionally, Materion anticipates expanding the gettering technology to applications beyond infrared imaging including inertial sensors, medical sensors, oscillators and other MEMs devices, leveraging its wafer-level technology, product development and operational capabilities.