Nano@Tech Fall 2023 Series | Scalable Directed Microassembly – Towards an Ultimate Heterogeneous Integration Tool for Advanced Microstructure Engineering

Abstract: Electronics and materials system design would be transformed by the general ability to assemble heterogeneous microscale building blocks into macroscale objects. Each pixel, or voxel, could use the best building block (circuit, device, or material, from the best fab or process) for the best functionality. The building blocks could be precisely integrated with enough throughput to enable low-cost manufacturing. Heterogeneous integration in one step, orientation control of micro-objects, micrometer-scale resolution, and a general process with a large library of building blocks are desired capabilities. A digital process could sort the building blocks for yield management, enable real-time defect healing, and rapid prototyping of custom designs. Such a new capability could have a broad impact across electronics, sensor systems, materials, and high throughput discovery while enabling localized manufacturing. PARC is pursuing such a capability by combining electrostatic actuator arrays, sensing, and parallel control to enable what we believe to be the first generalized computer-controlled, fluidic microassembly process. We have built initial prototype microassembly printer systems and scalable software to show the assembly and transfer of chips and objects (5-200um) into millimeter and centimeter scale outputs with micrometer precision. The architecture has the potential for smaller building blocks and larger outputs. The control algorithms and throughput have large unexplored design spaces by leveraging industry advances in CPU/GPU power, computer vision, and machine learning. MicroLED display is the first industrial target application; integrated circuit chiplets, large area microsolar arrays, 2D materials, energetics, and magnetics are other early interest areas. We seek collaborations with system designers and building block developers to target exciting new applications.

Bio: Eugene Chow is a strategy leader and principal scientist at PARC (formerly Xerox PARC, now a part of SRI). He develops early-stage R&D business strategies, raises support from the government and companies, and leads microsystems research programs in diverse markets such as manufacturing, electronics, and biomedicine. He has over 100 patents across diverse fields, including advanced printer systems for industry, skin-printed drugs for pandemic response, microsprings for electronics packaging and testing, and microassembly. He earned a B.S. from U.C. Berkeley in engineering physics and did his graduate work at Stanford University (M.S. in engineering management, M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering), with advisors Tom Kenny and Calvin Quate.

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A boxed lunch will be served on a first come, first served basis.