Polymer Based Technologies for Micro and Nano Systems
Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems
This core competence covers the technological and human resources for the development of micro and nano systems based on polymeric materials. Being affiliated to the department Multi Device Integration, the focus of the core competence is not the development of individual sensors and actuators, but a system approach in which the sensor and actuator functionality is a direct part of the overall system.
The core competence can be divided into:
- Development of the polymer based interated functionalities themselves, and
- Key technologies necessary for the fabrication thereof.
Two different types of integrated functionalities are addressed:
System- and material-integrated actuators: A completely integrated, low-cost micro actuator technology has been developed and patented for polymer based microsystems. Based on these patents a modular platform for in-vitro-diagnostics has been developed together with other Fraunhofer Institutes, which has now gained a high viaibility in the market.
System-integrated polymer based sensors: The application of nano composites in polymer based sensors exhibits a high potential. The polymeric matrix of the composite can be relatively freely chosen and adapted to a certain application. The sensor's functionality, however, can be realized based only on a proper selection of nano particles embedded in the polymer matrix. The main research topics therefore are systemadapted sensor design, integration technologies for nano composites in polymeric materials as well as the measuring techniques for characterization of polymer based nano composites and sensors.
A certain number of key technologies is needed for the development of polymer based sensors and actuators. All necessary technologies are available at ENAS, such as surface modification, metallization, micro structuring, dispersion technologies, coating technologies for polymer and nano composites, bonding technologies for plastics, and an assembly line for polymer based micro systems based on electrochemical micro actuators.