Silicon-based Microfluidics

Microfluidic chips are micro devices which are designed for handling tiny quantities of fluids – liquids or gases. X-FAB offers a comprehensive portfolio of technologies to support products for various microfluidics applications – in particular in the medical and industrial segments. Special focus is on technologies integrating microfluidics elements or interfaces with control or read-out circuitry on one single chip.

As the leading foundry in Si-based Microfluidics, X-FAB holds a track record for a variety of medical and industrial applications such as: 

  • Lab-on-a-chip devices for point of care diagnostics
  • Flow sensors
  • Next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS)
  • DNA synthesis
  • Rare cell sorting for cancer diagnostics
  • Micro electrode arrays for drug development or food safety testing

X-FAB’s technology offer for Silicon-based Microfluidics comprises various elements which provide a sound basis for the design and manufacture of integrated microsystems. The offer ranges from tailored interfaces between CMOS wafers and microfluidics elements to wafer-level assembly techniques like through-silicon via (TSV) and wafer bonding, and includes various process capabilities like noble metal processing, high aspect-ratio deep reactive ion-etch (DRIE) or the deposition of various organic and inorganic materials.

Schematic Overview of X-FAB’s Technology Portfolio for Silicon-based Microfluidics

Prototyping Plattform

With our unique Prototyping Platform we bring together the distinct worlds of Microelectronics and Fluid Handling by the implementation of microfluidic structures directly on to CMOS dies.
Leveraging X-FAB’s XH035 350nm high-voltage analog/mixed-signal CMOS process, the company can carry out numerous microfluidic post-processing activities at its state-of-the-art MEMS manufacturing sites in Germany. 
Customers will be able to benefit from the various standard process blocks that have been developed at X-FAB and are proven in silicon. Available process options include:

  • Initial preparation of the CMOS wafer for microfluidic integration, through planarized passivation along with through passivation vias.
  • The attaching of noble metal electrodes (either gold or platinum based) to act as interfaces for the fluidic samples. 
  • The adding of a dry film resist top layer (into which microfluidic channels can be scored) with an optional glass cap wafer

To provide further assistance, the design house, testing operations and full turnkey suppliers in the X-Chain partner network can also be engaged with. This means that customers with limited prior expertise of creating a custom chip can always gain access to the services they need.

Replay of webinar organized by EUROPRACTICE entitled:

Making Silicon-based Microfluidics Work – Solutions for Cost-effective Integrated Microfluidic Systems

presented by Oliver Foellmer, Product Marketing Manager MEMS

Our value proposition

  • Process integration expertise for on-chip Microfluidics
  • Fast time-to-market and competitive pricing due to use of Standard Process Blocks (SPB)
  • Scale-up to high-volume manufacturing, supporting long market entry cycles
  • Capability of clean, dry, and DNA-free device handling