wafersAPEX® Glass is not like traditional glasses.  It contains special sensitizers that allow unique anisotropic 3D features to be formed through a simple exposure step.  This “photo-structurable glass” combines batch manufacturing processes with standard IC processing toolsets to provide a low-cost, high-volume, production solution. 

APEX® Glass’ microfabrication ability is ideally suited for the wafer level packaging of electronic packages.  Applications span many industries including 2.5D and 3D packaging, RF packages (inductors, antenna, etc.), optoelectronics, and microcavities among others. 

APEX® Glass Advantages

APEX® Glass offers several advantages over traditional I/C packaging materials, such as silicon, laminates, and laser processed glass, including

  • Batch manufacturing enables low-cost production
  • Multi-faceted production enables greater integration of active components lowering production and packaging costs
  • Smooth surfaces and ultra-small through holes with tight densities provide industry-leading electrical routing densities
  • Broad spectrum transparency is ideal for many optoelectronics and opto-RF applications
  • Better material constants compared against laminates and silicon enables a 66% chip reduction allowing for 2.2 times more parts per wafer
  • Micro-fracture free production of through holes ensures lower loss and better reliability compared against laser processed glass
  • Glass-enabled systems integration

The APEX® Glass Manufacturing Process

APEX® Glass is processed using a simple three-step process:

  1. EXPOSE:  The wafer is masked using a photomask (no photoresist) and then exposed to UV light
  2. BAKE:  the exposed wafer is baked to convert the exposed regions into a ceramic; and
  3. ETCH:  the exposed and baked wafer is etched in a diluted acid removing the ceramic regions.

This simple manufacturing process enables our APEX® Glass as a systems integrator and gives a high degree of flexibility and integration of multiple processing steps to create monolithically integrated electronic packages.

Using this manufacturing approach the final product may:

  • Contain a variety of through glass via shapes, sizes and densities
  • Contain multiple etched features including through glass vias, cavities, lines, channels, and wells
  • Be fully glass, fully ceramic, or hybrids of the two states

3DGS has a variety of advanced foundry capabilities.  To learn more please visit our Foundry Services webpage.  Do you have a design in mind?  Let us help you.  Please check out our APEX® Glass Resources or contact us directly.