Su Yin Chiam


2 Fabrication of High-Aspect Ratio Vertical Silicon Nanowire Electrode Arrays for Brain-Machine Interfaces

Authors: Su Yin Chiam, Qing Xin Zhang, Zhipeng Ding, Guang Yang, Danny Jian Hang Tng, Peiyi Song, Geok Ing Ng, Ken-Tye Yong


Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is a ground rich of exploration opportunities where manipulation of neural activity are used for interconnect with myriad form of external devices. These research and intensive development were evolved into various areas from medical field, gaming and entertainment industry till safety and security field. The technology were extended for neurological disorders therapy such as obsessive compulsive disorder and Parkinson’s disease by introducing current pulses to specific region of the brain. Nonetheless, the work to develop a real-time observing, recording and altering of neural signal brain-machine interfaces system will require a significant amount of effort to overcome the obstacles in improving this system without delay in response. To date, feature size of interface devices and the density of the electrode population remain as a limitation in achieving seamless performance on BMI. Currently, the size of the BMI devices is ranging from 10 to 100 microns in terms of electrodes’ diameters. Henceforth, to accommodate the single cell level precise monitoring, smaller and denser Nano-scaled nanowire electrode arrays are vital in fabrication. In this paper, we would like to showcase the fabrication of high aspect ratio of vertical silicon nanowire electrodes arrays using microelectromechanical system (MEMS) method. Nanofabrication of the nanowire electrodes involves in deep reactive ion etching, thermal oxide thinning, electron-beam lithography patterning, sputtering of metal targets and bottom anti-reflection coating (BARC) etch. Metallization on the nanowire electrode tip is a prominent process to optimize the nanowire electrical conductivity and this step remains a challenge during fabrication. Metal electrodes were lithographically defined and yet these metal contacts outline a size scale that is larger than nanometer-scale building blocks hence further limiting potential advantages. Therefore, we present an integrated contact solution that overcomes this size constraint through self-aligned Nickel silicidation process on the tip of vertical silicon nanowire electrodes. A 4 x 4 array of vertical silicon nanowires electrodes with the diameter of 290nm and height of 3µm has been successfully fabricated.

Keywords: Nanowire, Brain-machine Interfaces, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nickel silicide

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1 Microfabrication of Three-Dimensional SU-8 Structures Using Positive SPR Photoresist as a Sacrificial Layer for Integration of Microfluidic Components on Biosensors

Authors: Jaehoon Chung, Su Yin Chiam, Qing Xin Zhang


Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits (ICs) have obtained increased attention in the biosensor community because CMOS technology provides cost-effective and high-performance signal processing at a mass-production level. In order to supply biological samples and reagents effectively to the sensing elements, there are increasing demands for seamless integration of microfluidic components on the fabricated CMOS wafers by post-processing. Although the PDMS microfluidic channels replicated from separately prepared silicon mold can be typically aligned and bonded onto the CMOS wafers, it remains challenging owing the inherently limited aligning accuracy ( > ± 10 μm) between the two layers. Here we present a new post-processing method to create three-dimensional microfluidic components using two different polarities of photoresists, an epoxy-based negative SU-8 photoresist and positive SPR220-7 photoresist. The positive photoresist serves as a sacrificial layer and the negative photoresist was utilized as a structural material to generate three-dimensional structures. Because both photoresists are patterned using a standard photolithography technology, the dimensions of the structures can be effectively controlled as well as the alignment accuracy, moreover, is dramatically improved (< ± 2 μm) and appropriately can be adopted as an alternative post-processing method. To validate the proposed processing method, we applied this technique to build cell-trapping structures. The SU8 photoresist was mainly used to generate structures and the SPR photoresist was used as a sacrificial layer to generate sub-channel in the SU8, allowing fluid to pass through. The sub-channel generated by etching the sacrificial layer works as a cell-capturing site. The well-controlled dimensions enabled single-cell capturing on each site and high-accuracy alignment made cells trapped exactly on the sensing units of CMOS biosensors.

Keywords: MEMS, Microfabrication, Microfluidic, SU-8

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