News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Electrical Routing", for Approval

February 27, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Jain, Ankur (Arcadia, CA); Gutierrez, Roman C. (Arcadia, CA), filed on September 30, 2013, was made available online on February 13, 2014.

The patent's assignee is DigitalOptics Corporation MEMS.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This disclosure generally relates to semiconductor manufacturing techniques and more particularly relates, for example, to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing techniques suitable for use in actuators and other devices.

"Actuators for use in miniature cameras and other devices are well known. Such actuators typically comprise voice coils that are used to move a lens for focusing, zooming, or optical image stabilization.

"Miniature cameras are used in a variety of different electronic devices. For example, miniature cameras are commonly used in cellular telephones, laptop computers, and surveillance devices. Miniature cameras may have many other applications.

"It is frequently desirable to reduce the size of miniature cameras. As the size of electronic devices continues to be reduced, the size of miniature cameras that are part of such electronic devices must typically be reduced as well. Reduction in the size of the miniature cameras may be facilitated via the use of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing techniques. For example, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing techniques may be used to facilitate the fabrication of smaller actuators and the like."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to an embodiment, a device may have a MEMS device formed of a first conductive material. A trench may be formed in the MEMS device. A layer of non-conductive material may be formed in the trench. A second conductive material may be formed upon the non-conductive material.

"According to an embodiment, a system may comprise an actuator device formed of a first conductive material. A trench may be formed in the actuator device. A layer of non-conductive material may be formed in the trench. A second conductive material may be formed upon the non-conductive material.

"According to an embodiment, a method may comprise forming a trench in a MEMS device formed of a first conductive material. A layer of non-conductive material may be formed in the trench. A second conductive material may be formed over the non-conductive material.

"According to an embodiment, a method may comprise communicating a voltage to an actuator of an actuator device via a conductive material formed in a trench of the actuator device. A platform may be moved via the actuator in response to the communicated voltage.

"The scope of the disclosure is defined by the claims, which are incorporated into this section by reference. A more complete understanding of embodiments will be afforded to those skilled in the art, as well as a realization of additional advantages thereof, by a consideration of the following detailed description of one or more embodiments. Reference will be made to the appended sheets of drawings that will first be described briefly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

"FIG. 1 illustrates an electronic device having an actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 2 illustrates a miniature camera having a lens barrel, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 3A illustrates the lens barrel having an actuator module disposed therein, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 3B illustrates the lens barrel and an actuator module in an exploded view, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 4 illustrates the actuator module having the actuator device disposed therein, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 5A illustrates a top view of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 5B illustrates a top view of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 6A illustrates a portion of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 6B illustrates a portion of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 6C illustrates a portion of a platform, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 6D illustrates a bottom view of a movable lens positioned for mounting to the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 6E illustrates a side view of the movable lens mounted to the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 7 illustrates portions of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 8 illustrates a bottom view of the actuator device in a deployed configuration, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 9A illustrates a portion of the actuator device in a deployed configuration without any voltage applied thereto, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 9B illustrates a portion of the actuator device in a deployed configuration with a small voltage applied thereto, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 9C illustrates a portion of the actuator device in a deployed configuration with a maximum voltage applied thereto, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 10 illustrates a lateral snubber assembly, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 11 illustrates a hinge flexure and a motion control torsional flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 12 illustrates an inner motion control hinge, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 13 illustrates a cantilever flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 14 illustrates a serpentine contact flexure and a deployment torsional flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 15 illustrates a top view of a deployment stop, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 16 illustrates a bottom view of the deployment stop, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17A illustrates a flap damper, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17B illustrates a movable frame disposed between an upper module cover and a lower module cover with no shock applied, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17C illustrates the movable frame disposed between the upper module cover and the lower module cover with a shock applied, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17D illustrates a partial top view of another actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17E illustrates an enlarged top view of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17F illustrates an outer hinge flexure, a lateral snubber assembly, a single snubber flap and an interlocking snubber flaps feature of the actuator device, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIGS. 17G and 17H illustrate the outer hinge flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIGS. 17I and 17J illustrate the lateral snubber assembly, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIGS. 17K and 17L illustrate cross-sectional views of the single snubber flap and the interlocking snubber flaps, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17M illustrates a top view of the lateral snubber assembly, the single snubber flap and the interlocking snubber flaps, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 17N illustrates cross-sectional views of the single snubber flap and the interlocking snubber flaps, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 18 illustrates a ball-in-socket snubber, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 19 illustrates the ball-in-socket snubber and two frame hinges, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 20 illustrates a kinematic mount flexure having an electrical contact, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 21 illustrates the kinematic mount flexure having the electrical contact, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 22 illustrates a cross-section of the kinematic mount flexure taken along line 22 of FIG. 21, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 23 illustrates a cross-section of the electrical contact taken along line 23 of FIG. 21, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 24 illustrates the kinematic mount flexure having the electrical contact, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 25 illustrates a cross-section of the electrical contact taken along line 25 of FIG. 24, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 26 illustrates the kinematic mount flexure having the electrical contact, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 27 illustrates a cross-section of the electrical contact taken along line 27 of FIG. 26, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 28 illustrates a cross-section of the electrical contact taken along line 28 of FIG. 26, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 29 illustrates the kinematic mount flexure having the electrical contact, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 30 illustrates the actuator device having the kinematic mount flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 31 illustrates the actuator device having the kinematic mount flexure, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 32 illustrates a perspective view of a substrate with a trench having a pinch formed therein, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 33 illustrates a top view of the substrate, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 34 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 34 of FIG. 33, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 35 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 35 of FIG. 33, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 36 illustrates a perspective view of the substrate having an oxide layer formed therein, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 37 illustrates a top view of the substrate, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 38 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 38 of FIG. 37, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 39 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 39 of FIG. 37, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 40 illustrates a perspective view of the substrate having a polysilicon formed upon the oxide layer, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 41 illustrates a top view of the substrate, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 42 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 42 of FIG. 41, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 43 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 43 of FIG. 41, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 44 illustrates a perspective view of the substrate after a wafer thinning and oxide removal process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 45 illustrates a top view of the substrate, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 46 illustrates a bottom view of the substrate, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 47 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 47 of FIG. 45, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 48 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the substrate taken along line 48 of FIG. 45, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 49 illustrates a substrate after a deep reactive-ion etch (DRIE) trench etch process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 50 illustrates the substrate after a thermal oxidation process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 51 illustrates the substrate after a polysilicon deposition process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 52 illustrates the substrate after an oxide etch process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 53 illustrates the substrate after the DRIE etch process has formed a separation in the polysilicon, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 54 illustrates the substrate after the wafer thinning process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 55 illustrates the substrate after an isotropic oxide etch process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 56 illustrates the substrate after a separation has been formed in the polysilicon, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 57 illustrates an example of a use of a pinch or separation, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 58 illustrates an enlarged view of an example of the pinch or separation, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 59 illustrates a guard trench formed in a substrate proximate a regular trench, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 60 illustrates the oxide layer formed in the guard trench and the regular trench, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 61 illustrates polysilicon formed upon the oxide layer, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 62 illustrates the oxide layer and the polysilicon after surface etching, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 63 illustrates the substrate after wafer thinning, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 64 illustrates the substrate, oxide layer, and polysilicon after an isotropic oxide etch, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 65 illustrates an actuator device having the guard trench, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 66 illustrates an enlarged view of the guard trench, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 67 illustrates a DRIE process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 68 illustrates a linear oxide growth process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 69 illustrates a polysilicon deposition process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 70 illustrates a polysilicon and oxide etch process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 71 illustrates a DRIE process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 72 illustrates a metallization process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 73 illustrates a wafer thinning process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"FIG. 74 illustrates isotropic oxide etch process, in accordance with an embodiment.

"Embodiments of the disclosure and their advantages are best understood by referring to the detailed description that follows. It should be appreciated that like reference numerals are used to identify like elements illustrated in one or more of the figures."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Jain, Ankur; Gutierrez, Roman C. Electrical Routing. Filed September 30, 2013 and posted February 13, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4749&p=95&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140206.PD.&OS=PD/20140206&RS=PD/20140206

Keywords for this news article include: DigitalOptics Corporation MEMS.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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