Kyoto/London - With over six decades of experience in creating innovative materials and technology, Kyocera has developed a direct bonding technology which attaches sapphire to sapphire or sapphire to alumina. This enables manufacturing of products which exploit the advantageous properties of sapphire such as chemical resistance, high strength, plasma resistance and translucency, while providing design freedom to create structures enabling movement of electrons and fluids in them. These products are used in a variety of fields like semiconductor manufacturing, bio-fluid analysis and applied physics.
Examples of products produced with direct bonding
1. Flow Cell
A flow cell is a structure with translucent channels that allow liquids and gases to pass through, while optically inspecting for impurities. The cells usually exposed to corrosive chemicals, so the usage of sapphire due to its high corrosion resistance property is recommended. Furthermore, the translucency of sapphire allows for the transmission of light, thereby enabling optical inspection of impurities. Such flow cells are used for particle inspection in the semiconductor cleaning process, specimen analysis of blood, molecular structure of fine substances etc.
In analytical and semiconductor manufacturing equipment, an elliptical tube made of sapphire is used for enabling flow path of corrosive gases. Various gases can be used here, by taking advantage of the high corrosion resistance of sapphire. Furthermore, plasma can be generated directly in the tube by taking advantage of high insulation and low dielectric loss characteristics for high frequency.
Owing to sapphire’s translucency in a wide range of wavelengths from ultraviolet to infrared, it is suitable for making windows. As sapphire’s strength is higher than other translucent materials, design flexibility to have thin windows is facilitated. Additionally, it can be used in various processes of semiconductor manufacturing and liquid crystal panel manufacturing, due to its plasma resistance and corrosion resistance.
4. Electron Beam Waveguide
This product is a long plate with internal flow channel, and is used in electron accelerators. These long tubes can be formed using the sapphire bonding technology and are highly airtight so that they can be used in a vacuum. Electrodes can be placed on the periphery and used as accelerators for electron beams.
This product is formed by bonding a ceramic with an in-built channel and a sapphire cover plate. Shallow channels of several hundred nanometers can be formed on the ceramic. The product is used for reaction observations of liquid samples and analysis of trace substances. Due to the high corrosion resistance, this can be used for all chemicals. The flow path of the liquids can also be observed by designing the channel in the required shape.