Silicon Wafers for Pressure Sensors

university wafer substrates

What Silicon Wafer Spec Should I Use for My Pressure Sensor Research?

An international university made the following request:

"One of our students needs a 2 inches silicon wafer with a specific thickness: 175um. We don’t have grinding tools. Can you provide this wafer diameter in this particular thickness? For instance for small volume: 25-50 wafers. We are developing a pressure sensor. We will have sense elements on top side and a dry etched cavity on the bottom."

UniversityWafer, Inc quoted:

Diameter: 2”
Thickness: 175um
Orientation: 100
Surface: SSP or DSP (researchers choice)

Reference #269814 for pricing

Get Your Quote FAST!


What Terms are Used To Search for Pressure Sensors?

One common type of silicon wafer that is used in pressure sensors is the piezoresistive silicon wafer. This type of silicon wafer contains silicon crystals that are able to resist changes in shape or size when exposed to pressure. The piezoresistive silicon wafer is frequently used in medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors, as well as in industrial applications. When used in a pressure sensor, the piezoresistive silicon wafer helps to accurately measure changes in pressure. As a result, it is an essential component in many different types of devices and systems.

The following terms are often associated with pressure sensors.

  • silicon wafers
  • porous silicon 
  • sensor fabrication
  • silicon pressure
  • silicon membranes
  • semiconductor wafer
  • microfluidic sensors 
  • silicon substrate 
  • additional wafer
  • glass wafers
  • silicon diaphragm
  • semiconductor strain 
  • ultrasonic transducers 
  • sensor calibration
  • silicon fracture    

What is Piezoresistive Pressure Sensors?

Piezoresistive materials change electrical resistance when a mechanical force is applied. These forces can be in the form of compression, tension, or bending. This change in resistance produces a voltage. The electrical resistance of a piezoelectric material can be determined using Ohm's law.

Strain gauges are based on the piezoresistive effect. They typically use a four-arm Wheatstone bridge to implement the effect. This type of bridge is made of four Si-resistors diffused into a semi-conductor membrane. The four resistors are then connected in a Wheatstone-Bridge arrangement, where the change in resistance is proportional to the amount of applied pressure.

A piezoresistive material is a semiconductor that is sensitive to a mechanical strain. This property increases the sensitivity of the sensor by two or more factors. The piezoresistive effect is predominant in semiconductors. It can also be used in sensors for temperature and pressure measurement.

In the semiconductor world, this property of semiconductors has been harnessed to produce sensor devices. Silicon, for instance, is used in most pressure sensors because of its ability to increase its resistance when mechanical stress is applied to it. This property makes it easy to integrate stress sensors into circuits. However, this characteristic is not available for all semiconductors.

Piezoresistive pressure sensors are used in a wide variety of industrial applications to measure mechanical stresses. In the automotive industry, they are used in oil level gauges and vacuum sensors. They are also used in medical devices such as blood pressure meters. Deep sea diving equipment also uses piezoresistive sensors to produce accurate readings of depth. Moreover, these sensors are commonly used in aircraft altimeters and barometric pressure instruments.

The global Piezoresistive Pressure Sensors market is estimated to be worth USD 903.9 million in 2022 and is forecast to reach USD 1098.3 million by 2028, growing at a % CAGR. The market is led by Biomedical Applications. This segment has the highest revenue potential, with the largest share of the piezoresistive pressure sensor market.

The global Piezoresistive Pressure Sensors market research report contains insights into the drivers, opportunities, and challenges for the industry. The report also identifies the key players in the market. It outlines their sales volume, prices, and production in key regions. All these information can help market participants assess their position in the market.



SU-8 on Silicon Wafers for Pressure Sensors

Silicon wafers are used to make pressure sensors, which are small and low-cost. They are also suitable for what silicon wafer is  used to fabricate pressure sensorssensors in the medical field. A sensor's sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio depend on the amount of doping and the temperature coefficient. The latter increases with increasing doping concentration, but decreases after a certain point.

SU-8 layer removed by buffer solution

SU-8 is a polymer used in the fabrication of pressure sensors. Its oxidation-reduction process is a relatively easy and simple way to deposit a thin film on silicon. Its advantages include avoiding high temperatures, pressure, and electric potential, allowing for the deposition of ultra-thin films. The SU-8 layer is also compatible with a low substrate cleanness requirement and is capable of tolerating micro-scale particles. In addition, it does not block microchannels and has excellent thermal stability and chemical inertia.

The SU-8 layer was removed from silicon wafers using a buffer solution. Then, a layer of Ti or Au was deposited on the silicon wafers to form electrodes with a thickness of between 10 and 100 nm. The electrodes had a sensitivity of 160 kHz/mmHg, with a two-percent error range.

After applying SU-8 to silicon wafers, the microdevice was exposed to 365 nm UV light for 1 min. This exposure produced polymer layers with better uniformity. For the process A, the average global thickness was 3.76 mm, while process B yielded 4.35 mm.

The sensor was made by using thin-film technology and photolithography. Silicon nitrate, silicon dioxide, polycrystalline silicon, and aluminum were used as substrates. A thin-film layer was formed using the lift-off technique. The resulting silicon wafers were then annealed at 200 degC for two hours. The incident light was from a 1.31 um LED. The resulting pressure sensor was optimized to work in the pressure range of 0.1-1 MPa.

The new process can be used for silicon pressure sensors. It eliminates the need for pre-developing the resist layer with solvent. It also prevents the need for new calibrations based on the adhesive thickness. The new method has many advantages and is worth a try.

The bioresorbable silicon-based pressure sensors have been tested in numerous trials. They can be used in a variety of applications, including chronic illnesses and the healing process. They have been used for traumatic brain injuries, glaucoma, and hypertension. They are reliable and repeatable and have been proven in lab experiments.

SU-8 layer formed with Ti and Au

In order to make pressure sensors, a SU-8 layer formed with Ti and Au is a perfect choice. This material is fully cross-linked and can resist high pressures. However, SU-8 is vulnerable to cracking. In order to prevent this problem, SU-8 layers are designed with a sprung probe that prevents damage to the lines.

In this paper, we have developed a polymer-pressure sensor made from SU-8. We developed this sensor through a simple three-mask process and demonstrated that it exhibits a linear response to pressure and satisfactory resolution when used to measure intravascular blood pressure. The SU-8 sensor shows good sensitivity and has a promising future in sensors.

This new material can replace chemically amplified resists and reduce production costs. We describe all the steps in the fabrication process, from the photoresist to the removal of the resist film. We also highlight the importance of using reactive ion etching with oxygen to enhance the contrast and edge definition. Moreover, this material has excellent photon and heat resistance, which makes it an excellent candidate for passive micro-actuators.

A series of tests have been conducted to investigate the adhesion of SU8/Au layers on glass substrates. First, adhesive tape was placed on the gold film surface and the gold was then peeled off at a constant speed of 50 mm/s. The process was repeated 50 times until delamination of the gold film was achieved. For the samples SU8/Au-A and SU8/Au-B, significant delamination occurred within a single peeling step. This suggests that SU8 is not very adhesive in a conductive medium.

In addition to testing the SU8/Au layer's adhesion properties, we also studied the mechanical and biochemical stability of SU8/Au films. These materials exhibit similar behavior to neurons grown directly on glass. Moreover, we also evaluated the SU8/Au films' stability using optical microscopy and four-point probe sheet resistance.

SU8 is a biocompatible material. Its biocompatibility has been demonstrated by HEK293-T cell adhesion to the SU8/Au bilayer. After sterilization in 70% ethanol, the samples were incubated in 0.1% PLL solution. After staining with Hoechst DNA, the cells were analyzed for viability and vitality using FDA staining. The SU8/Au bilayer showed significant improvement in adhesion compared to the Cr-coated glass.

SU-8 layer formed with Au

SU-8 layer formed on silicon wafers for pressure sensors can be made with different processes. In the standard process, the SU-8 layer is applied to the top surface of the wafer in thin layers ranging from 3 to 100 um. The SU-8 deposition process can be performed either by spin coating or by spray on technique. In both processes, the SU-8 layer and the Au layer bond together at a specific temperature, where bonding takes place.

SU-8 is a photoresist material that exhibits a reversible, alternating, periodic structure. SU8 is crosslinked in a manner that allows the device to be resistant to photons and heat. This property makes the material attractive for passive micro actuators.

The SU-8 polymer can be heated using milliwatts of optical power. This heat can change the shape and length of the SU-8 cavity. In a recent study, the effects of temperature on the cavity length were investigated for six SU-8 sensors that were immersed in DI water or saline solution. After being immersed in the solution, the sensor showed rapid changes in its length. The total length of the cavity increased by 0.75 to 1.5 m compared to the initial air length.

Another method used to create a SU8/Au film is by using adhesive tape. This method is similar to that of Au-based bioelectrodes but allows for better adhesion. It also has a higher biocompatibility than chromium.

A biocompatibility assessment is an important aspect of biomedical devices. In vitro studies have indicated that SU8 does not adversely affect cell cultures, and it is therefore extensively used as a biomedical device encapsulant. However, the effect of evaporated elemental chromium on biological cells is still unclear. Some studies have suggested that Cr(III) and Cr(VI) ions could be potentially toxic to cells.

The SU8 layer formed with Au on silicon wafers used for pressure sensors shows an evolution of its optical characteristics as the film ages. It shows good stability for the first 326 hours, but the film deteriorates significantly after this time. Reflective micrographs of the SU8/Au layer reveal wrinkles and tearing on the film.

SU-8 layer formed with Ti

One method to prepare SU-8 on silicon wafers for pressure sensors is through MCC. It involves the use of a hotplate and SU-8 solution. This method is more challenging than other methods because it requires agitation. For instance, if the pressure sensor uses high aspect ratio features, it is critical to have agitation at a moderate to strong rate. Another method involves suspending the wafer on a stir rod and immersing it in a developer. The agitation can help clear out deep trenches and vias.

SU-8 has a high crosslinking density and can be processed at temperatures up to 230degC. As a result, it does not change much after processing, except for a slight shrinkage at 364degC and a 5% weight loss at 900degC.

Depending on the photoresist used, spin coating can produce a layer with a thickness of a few microns. This technique is highly repeatable but is not recommended for thin silicon wafers. In addition, spin coating generates a lot of waste material because most of the photoresist is thrown off the substrate during the spinning process.

Compared to other silicon-based pressure sensors, the SU-8-based pressure sensor can measure pressure changes at high-speed. This makes it a viable pressure sensor material. Besides, this material is compatible with the majority of medical devices, and it is easy to process.

SU-8 has many lithography techniques that create deep sub-micron-scale structures. It has excellent mechanical properties, and it is also suitable for gray-tone lithography. It is also suitable for creating 3D structures. For example, cell sorters, microfluidic filters, and micromixers can be made using this material.

SU-8 lithography has been used extensively in the microfabrication community. Its high aspect ratio and thermal stability have led to a reduction in fabrication cost. Additionally, it has also been widely used in MEMS. It can also be bonded and laminated, which reduces the complexity of devices. Additionally, SU-8 is biocompatible, which means that it can be processed at low temperatures without any fear of biofouling.

After forming a Ti/Ti/SU-8 layer on silicon wafers, the SU-8 layer is patterned. SU-8 layers are 50/5/800 nm thick, and are used to define the strain gauge contact pads. The next step is to apply a thin film of SU-8 onto the polyimide membrane. After applying this layer, the device is processed using spin-coating.