Okmetic has donated SOI wafers to Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology (ISIT). The donation consists of various small inventory batches of older 200 mm SOI wafers. SOI wafers are advanced silicon wafers, which have a thin silicon layer on top of an oxide coating (Silicon On Insulator). These wafers require high-level technological knowhow, and Okmetic is the global leader in SOI wafer production. SOI wafers are used as a platform for demanding silicon-based MEMS sensors.
Fraunhofer ISIT is specialised in development, manufacture and integration of components in microelectronics and microsystems technology. The research facility located in Itzehoe, Germany, employs 190 scientists working in close cooperation with industrial partners. Okmetic has collaborated with Fraunhofer ISIT laboratory in ENIAC undertakings, e.g. Epamo.
ISIT greatly appreciates Okmetic’s donation. “It was a great stroke of luck for us to receive such a significant number of SOI wafers for free”, says Dr. Thomas Lisec from Fraunhofer ISIT. “SOI wafers are an excellent choice for MEMS applications requiring monocrystalline silicon with precisely defined thickness for the movable structure. However, due to budget restrictions, application of SOI wafers for development needs is strictly limited. Thanks to Okmetic, ISIT now holds a large stock of various SOI wafers, which can be used quickly and without additional cost for a particular development”, Dr. Lisec continues.
SOI wafers are Okmetic’s most important product group and main area for growth. Thus, the biggest part of the company’s product development costs and investments are focused on SOI. Markku Tilli, Head of Research at Okmetic, underlines that close collaboration with research institutes is of utmost importance to Okmetic: “By ensuring that research centres have high-class raw materials for their experiments we can contribute to future development. Advanced sensors will increasingly be based on SOI technology. Okmetic wants to support sensor R&D and help in creating prerequisites for new innovations in the area”, Tilli says.
Okmetic has a long history of close co-operation with universities and research centres, and the company also participates in several technology undertakings. R&D collaboration is fruitful for all parties. It helps Okmetic recognise the most important technology trends of the future as well as changes in the market, and develop its product portfolio and processes accordingly.