Multiphysics simulations, materials characterization, small-scale production, and testing
Our services at your disposal
Across all industrial sectors, Swiss and international industrial companies of all sizes rely on our expertise and experience. We have worked together with them on hundreds of projects, addressing a broad range of technological challenges. Based on our expertise in photovoltaics, microsystems development, scientific instrumentation, and printed electronics, we help our industrial partners to meet the growing demand for specific services and small-scale production.

This involves offering a wide range of high-tech services requiring multidisciplinary skills, and a systems engineering approach using a comprehensive set of processes, techniques and tools:

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Coating services

Our Coating services are based on CSEM’s broad equipment portfolio, and are compatible with up to 8” wafer surfaces and piece thicknesses of up to 5 mm on both rigid and flexible substrates.

Coating & thin-film deposition equipment includes several PVD (sputtering), CVD (thermal and plasma), ALD, and MVD tools. We offer coating-related development ranging from pure deposition services to high-potential material and process developments.

  • PVD—Physical Vapor Deposition (sputtering): Horizontal and vertical PVD cluster tools with RF and DC magnetrons, including single- and multi-target chambers for rapid material screening; used for metal (Ag, Al, Mo, etc.), dielectric (TiO, SiO, MoOx, etc.), metal oxides (ZnO, ITO, etc.), and semiconductor (nitrides) deposition.
  • CVD—Chemical Vapor Deposition Thermal and PECVD (plasma-enhanced CVD) cluster tools; used for a-Si, SiNx, SiC, SiOx, and a-C:H deposition.
  • ALD—Atomic Layer Deposition: Thermal and plasma (ICP) assisted ALD chamber; used for dielectric, metal oxide (ZnO, AlOx, NiOx, etc.), and semiconductor deposition.
  • MVD—Molecular Vapor Deposition

Our application-specific portfolio covers the following areas:

  • Opto-electronics – for the development of materials and processes for inorganic and organics LEDs.
  • MEMS/sensing – by developing thin-film-based sensors and MEMS
  • Surface functionalization – using dedicated materials and processes for tribological improvements, coloring, and device protection.
  • Aesthetics – with the development of interferential filters
  • Energy – with the production of high-efficiency silicon cells and thin-film PV
  • Bio-functional coatings – for the functionalization of surfaces for life sciences, bio-sensing and medical application

Micro-manufacturing & small-scale production

We provide easy access to our dedicated micro-fabrication equipment and infrastructures to provide industry with a complete product-development platform for the production of microsystems or devices in small volumes.

  • Laser micro-manufacturing with short- and ultra-short pulsed laser systems for precision micromachining; processing of various materials with 2D and 2D+ (selective depth) structuring
  • Silicon-based microfabrication devices or MEMS
  • Printed electronics using various techniques – screen printing, single- & multi-nozzle inkjet printing, slot-die coating, blade coating – with combinatorial materials testing
  • Origination & tooling of micro & nanostructures of various surfaces using various techniques including lithography, UV exposure, laser interference exposure, plasma dry etching, argon-ion beam etching, surface treatments & surface activation, and galvanics
  • Replication & casting of these micro & nanostructures by evaporation PVD, UV casting replication, NIL replication, flat & roll-to-roll hot embossing, with testing and optimization or replication and casting parameters, as well as materials

Optical simulation and modeling tools

Our comprehensive set of optical simulation tools and expertise enables us to understand and improve processes, with the goal of meeting your design and specification of your requirements. It includes:

  • Ray tracing (ZEMAX)
  • Rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA)
  • 3D modeling using RCWA + Ray Tracing
  • 2D & 3D finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) and finite-element time-domain (FETD)
  • Free-form optics simulation
  • Diffractive optical elements (DOE) design & simulation
  • Surface integral equations

Characterization & testing tools

We provide you with easy access to the instruments used for materials characterization, high-resolution 3D imaging, dimensional measurement, real-time analysis and failure-mode analysis.

  • A panel of instrumentation used for materials characterization, dimensional metrology and quality control, chemical composition analysis, reliability testing, real-time analysis, failure-mode analysis, and nanoparticle characterization, etc.
  • Non-destructive testing service based on phase contrast X-ray analysis for the analysis of new materials (e.g. composites), the understanding of failure mechanisms and early degradation, and the improvement of manufacturing processes. (2D and 3D classical X-ray, 2D and 3D phase – and scattering contrast with sample size up to 1000 mm, high-resolution setup down to 0.005 mm)
  • Specific optical and electrical test and measuring equipment including optical coherence tomography (OCT), spectroscopy and ellipsometry, I-V curve and contact resistance measurements (solar cells), fluorescence lifetime imaging, Ulbricht sphere, light distribution & characterization, light interferences, ...

We respond to your exact needs by selecting the most appropriate solution from the available techniques.

Microsystems packaging services

We offer a one-stop-shop access to prototyping and small-series production of micro-packages, including consultancy on best materials and bonding technologies in specific application use cases.

We give you access to:

  • An extended database of core properties of various adhesives
  • Mastering of state-of-the-art microsystems assembly processes
  • System design know how
  • Hermetic packaging for harsh environments

Multiphysics FEM simulations service

Software tools such as COMSOL Multiphysics® or MapleSim® are available to model the behavior of complex systems, test concepts and optimize them based on individual or highly coupled physics (mixing structural, thermal, acoustics, fluidics, AC-DC, RF, optics, electro- and chemistry, particle tracking, etc. ).

Mixing all these physics in our models requires an understanding of complex phenomena, particularly at small scales (typically < 1cm3) where physics couple more strongly than at the macro-scale. We help build and provide “application” models tailored to your needs, allowing your engineers to access and adapt certain parameters via a simplified GUI.

We give you access to:

  • Highly skilled systems and development engineers
  • Advanced modeling tools and the set-up of simple to complex multiphysics models
  • Tailored “FEM Applications model” directly accessible by your engineers
  • Additive manufacturing (AM) shape topology optimization.

Energy systems-based services

For the development and optimization of energy systems, we propose dedicated product development that integrates the latest results of our research activities. In this context we can also provide the following specific services:

  • Simulation and modeling of thermal systems (Modelica, Polysun, IDA ICE, Energy+)
  • Simulation and modeling of electricity grid (PowerFactory), see also PV hosting capacity example

For the evaluation and development of electrochemical energy storage solutions, CSEM operates the Energy Storage Research Center ESReC together with the Berner Fachhochschule BFH. The following services are offered:

  • Electrical and thermal characterization of cells, modules and packs
  • Simulation and modelling
  • SoC and SoH algorithm development
  • BMS hardware and software development
  • Battery storage system assessment, dimensioning and development
  • Battery integration in electric vehicles and buildings
  • Consulting
Abilis Systems
The fruitful collaboration between CSEM and Abilis Systems has resulted in the world's first single-chip solution for a digital TV receiver.
The fruitful collaboration between CSEM and Abilis Systems, an ALI Group company, has resulted in the world's first single-chip solution for a digital TV receiver, thereby achieving significant improvements in miniaturization, energy efficiency, and evolution capability when compared with the other solutions currently on the market.
Yves Mathys, CEO
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Adolphe Merkle Institute
In CSEM, we found a professional partner that engineered an ultra-thin insert for cell culture. This fruitful collaboration has led to the development of a new quadruple in vitro model of the human air–blood tissue barrier.
At AMI, our expertise is in the development of realistic cell co-culture models of the lung for the risk assessment of newly engineered nanomaterials. Until recently, the bottleneck had been the use of conventional insert membranes, which are ten times thicker than the air–blood barrier itself. In CSEM, we found a professional partner that engineered an ultra-thin insert for cell culture. This fruitful collaboration, funded by Lunge Zürich, has led to the development of a new quadruple in vitro model of the human air–blood tissue barrier.
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Asyril
CSEM is always ahead of the technology curve and leads projects with great professionalism.
CSEM is always ahead of the technology curve and leads projects with great professionalism. Together with CSEM, we developed Asycube, a new device with high flexibility for feeding small parts. Thanks to this research project we were able to launch an innovative product onto the market—a product that has met with a great deal of success.
Alain Codourey, CEO
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BASF
CSEM's R&D activities in the area of surface engineering are currently expanding and complement nicely BASF's existing competences in this field.
The collaboration between CSEM and the former Ciba legacy (now a part of BASF) in the area of nano- and microtechnology and printed organic electronics was important to building up new competences within the company. Such technology platforms are also of great importance to BASF. CSEM's R&D activities in the area of surface engineering are currently expanding and complement nicely BASF's existing competences in this field.
Andreas Hafner, Senior Innovation Manager
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EM Microelectronics
Our EM9301, a Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Low Energy) controller, is yet another example of the fertile collaboration we have enjoyed with CSEM for decades.
Our EM9301, a Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Low Energy) controller, is the result of a combination of CSEM's low-power radio chip technology and EM Microelectronic's innovative low-voltage design. It is yet another example of the fertile collaboration we have enjoyed with CSEM for decades already and which demonstrates that Swiss microelectronics is attractive and remains competitive, even in Asia.
Michel Willemin, CEO
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European Space Agency (ESA)
The spirit of collaboration that CSEM has shown has been excellent and I would specifically like to commend the center.
I would like to thank CSEM for the support it provided for the Rio Tinto campaign. The spirit of collaboration that CSEM has shown has been excellent and I would specifically like to commend the center for the preparation of the pre-testing as well as for the actual testing in Rio Tinto [...] not to mention the very good data we have recorded using LTMS. All in all a very good analogue simulation, which should be the basis of future activities.
Scott Hovland, ISS Programme & Exploration Department, ESTEC, Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Operations
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Girard-Perregaux
CSEM's technological contribution complements the technical watchmaking expertise and experience of Girard-Perregaux.
Our company, a brand of the Sowind Group, is developing—together with CSEM—a new escapement device for mechanical watches. Etched out of a single piece of silicon in their clean room, the key component of this tiny device delivers minute increments of energy, driving a timepiece with unparalleled precision. CSEM's technological contribution complements the technical watchmaking expertise and experience of Girard-Perregaux.
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InSphero
Innovative thinking and efficient technology transfer make CSEM an ideal partner for us.
Over several successful past projects, CSEM has proven to be a reliable and innovative project partner for cell handling on the micro-scale. Innovative thinking and efficient technology transfer make CSEM an ideal partner for us. We have just started a new multi-year project with the center and can recommend CSEM to all those seeking competent partners in this field.
Jan Lichtenberg, CEO
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Limmex
The fact that we have come so far is largely due to the excellent and committed support of CSEM's team. We would like to thank CSEM for its extremely valuable support.
Both the Swiss Red Cross and end users tell us that LIMMEX will be a quantum leap compared to currently available products. When we have resolved the final technical issues and implemented solid industrialization, the product will have a promising future. The fact that we have come so far is largely due to the excellent and committed support of CSEM's team. We would like to thank CSEM for its extremely valuable support.
Sven Carlson, Co-founder and Member of the Board
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Melexis
We leveraged the excellent collaboration with CSEM, including enabling the transfer of know-how that will allow us to use this project as a technology platform for future circuit developments.
Melexis worked with CSEM on the development of a unique product concept, MLX73290, combining an energy effective RF-CMOS transceiver with a highly sensitive LF transponder targeting active tag applications and passive, keyless, automotive entry systems. We leveraged the excellent collaboration with CSEM, including enabling the transfer of know-how that will allow us to use this project as a technology platform for future circuit developments.
Damien Macq, Business Unit Manager—Wireless
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Oclaro
We were keen to work with CSEM because of its know-how in optical design, packaging, and automation; but also because of its proximity to our R&D center.
We were keen to work with CSEM because of its know-how in optical design, packaging, and automation; but also because of its proximity to our R&D center, because of our long-term relationship, and because of CSEM's connections to Swiss industry.
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ONERA—The French aerospace lab
CSEM has the advantage of being used to working with industry and brought us their expertise in the domain of nanosurface engineering.
ONERA, the French aerospace lab, is developing—together with CSEM—new pressure-sensitive coatings as unique tools for providing pressure measurements over the entire surface of a model subjected to aerodynamic testing in wind tunnels. In this project, the main objective is to design a specific pressure-sensitive coating able to measure the fast pressure variations (>1 kHz) observed in an unsteady aerodynamic flow. CSEM's technological contribution complements the technical wind tunnel expertise and experience of ONERA.
Marie-Claire Mérienne, Research Engineer, Fundamental and Experimental Aerodynamics Department
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Optics Balzers
The key factors to success on the development of a biosensor for water analysis were our close relationship with CSEM as a powerful research partner and a strong conviction with regards to the center's practicality in the market.
Optics Balzers, the manufacturer of optically coated components and assemblies, is collaborating with CSEM on the development of a biosensor for water analysis. The sensor is also intended to be used later to measure hormone residues in sea water. The factors that were instrumental in the Liechtenstein-based company launching the project were its close relationship with CSEM as a powerful research partner and a strong conviction with regards to the center's practicality in the market. The declared long-term goal is to develop a complete biochip that will be produced in large quantities in Optics Balzers' clean rooms.
Alex Vogt, CEO
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Osmotex
Osmotex was able to identify CSEM as the ideal partner. We have now launched our first series of micro-pumps on the market, and have relocated to Switzerland to further intensify our successful collaboration with CSEM.
To develop our proprietary electrokinetic micro-pump concept, our Norwegian start-up was looking for a partner with expertise in the fields of microfluidics, electrokinetics, and micro-integration. Thanks to this worldwide search, Osmotex was able to identify CSEM as the ideal partner to provide all these technologies. We have now launched our first series of micro-pumps on the market, and have relocated to Switzerland to further intensify our successful collaboration with CSEM.
Per Arne Lislien, CEO
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Patek Philippe
For several years, Patek Philippe and CSEM have been collaborating on the development of micromechanical parts for watch mechanisms. CSEM is an important driving force for innovation within our company.
For several years, Patek Philippe and CSEM have been collaborating on the development of micromechanical parts for watch mechanisms. This collaboration provides us with access to state-of-the-art technology and know-how, and enables us to position our company at the technological forefront of watchmaking innovation. Additionally, in the medium term, CSEM ensures series production, enabling the rapid integration of technological developments into our watches. CSEM is an important driving force for innovation within our company.
Jean-Pierre Musy, Technical Director
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Phonak
By joining forces, CSEM and Phonak Communications were able to develop a new wireless protocol for portable audio applications. We thank CSEM for its excellent contribution and look forward to working together on the next project.
By joining forces, CSEM and Phonak Communications were able to develop a new wireless protocol for portable audio applications. The uniqueness of this protocol is the implementation of a so-called distributed master concept. This allows any participant to seamlessly join or quit a network. We will integrate this very innovative protocol into several of our product portfolios. We thank CSEM for its excellent contribution and look forward to working together on the next project.
Evert Dijkstra, Managing Director of Phonak Communications
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Poken
CSEM has a unique track record in the field of ultra-low-power systems, is familiar with existing IP portfolios, and has system-on-chip (SoC) expertise. You just cannot find that kind of know-how in large semiconductor manufacturing R&D departments.
CSEM's know-how in ultra-low-power design fits perfectly with our need to extend battery life: CSEM has a unique track record in the field of ultra-low-power systems, is familiar with existing IP portfolios, and has system-on-chip (SoC) expertise. You just cannot find that kind of know-how in large semiconductor manufacturing R&D departments.
Stéphane Doutriaux CEO and founder
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Renata
Mit dem CSEM zusammenzuarbeiten bedeutet auf breit abgestützte Kompetenzen und innovative Denkweise zurückzugreifen, um das Ziel der Technologieführerschaft in Reichweite zu bringen.
Mit dem CSEM zusammenzuarbeiten bedeutet auf breit abgestützte Kompetenzen und innovative Denkweise zurückzugreifen, um das Ziel der Technologieführerschaft in Reichweite zu bringen.
Daniel Hunziker, Head of Strategic Projects
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REVELATION—Créations horlogères d'exception
Thanks to our close collaboration, we have managed to translate the claims in our patent into a truly exceptional product.
The use of the polarizing discs developed with CSEM to reveal and order how the functions in a watch appear allows REVELATION to make its contribution to the history of luxury watchmaking. Thanks to our close collaboration, we have managed to translate the claims in our patent into a truly exceptional product. The result is a double-complication watch that allows the mysteries of its Tourbillon Manège® movement to be revealed thanks to this technical innovation: the REVELATION system®.
Anouk Dante, Co-founder
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RUAG Aerospace
RUAG Aerospace has come to fully appreciate CSEM's experience and high level of competence in the design and simulation of high-precision space mechanisms integrating flexible structures.
Ruag Aerospace has been successfully cooperating with CSEM's Mechatronics group on the development and manufacture of a corner cube mechanism for the IASI (infrared atmospheric sounding interferometer) on the METOP satellite. In the framework of this project, RUAG Aerospace has come to fully appreciate CSEM's experience and high level of competence in the design and simulation of high-precision space mechanisms integrating flexible structures.
Marie-Thérèse Ivorra, Site General Manager, Nyon
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Saia-Burgess Controls
Saia-Burgess Controls has teamed with CSEM in several successful innovation projects. This collaboration has been very stimulating, engaging, and fruitful.
Saia-Burgess Controls has teamed with CSEM in several successful innovation projects, ranging from component-based architectures—with their high flexibility, robustness, and reliability—to the interconnection of sensor networks for building automation. We were thus able to address additional markets and redefine product architecture to introduce new features. The collaboration with CSEM has been very stimulating, engaging, and fruitful.
Konstantinos Kafandaris, Manager of the Controller & Interfaces business unit
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Semtech
Semtech and CSEM have a relationship that goes back over ten years. We value CSEM's innovative capability and close collaboration and we hope to continue the strong relationship we have with them.
Semtech and CSEM have a relationship that goes back over ten years. This successful partnership has resulted in many co-developments and the transfer of many technologies. CSEM's ability to bring advanced wireless and sensing technologies to Semtech has been instrumental in Semtech's success in these areas. We value CSEM's innovative capability and close collaboration and we hope to continue the strong relationship we have with them.
Alain Dantec, Senior Vice President, Advanced Communications & Sensing
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Sercalo Microtechnology
CSEM offers us a professional service for both manufacturing and development, which keeps us at the top of this high-tech field. We are very happy with this partnership.
At Sercalo Microtechnology we rely on CSEM as a single-source provider for the manufacturing of our optical MEMS designs. CSEM offers us a professional service for both manufacturing and development, which keeps us at the top of this high-tech field. We are very happy with this partnership.
Cornel Marxer, CEO
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SMS Concast Italia
When it comes to highly complex development tasks, we need a partner at eye-level, which perfectly understands our plants and offers both profound expertise and optimized service. We especially appreciated CSEM's reliability, flexibility, and wide range of know-how.
We have worked successfully with CSEM for several years. Together, we developed optical product recognition by SMS Concast to ensure the highest product quality and highest efficiency in our customers' production processes. When it comes to highly complex development tasks like this, we need a partner at eye-level, which perfectly understands our plants and offers both profound expertise and optimized service. We especially appreciated CSEM's reliability, flexibility, and wide range of know-how.
Guido Michelon, D&T Senior Engineer
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U-NICA Micronics AG
By measuring fluorescence lifetime, U-NICA is able to offer its customers an additional verification parameter, which is unique for each fluorescent dye. This leads to a much higher security and opens new possibilities for unique customer codes.
By measuring fluorescence lifetime, U-NICA is able to offer its customers an additional verification parameter, which is unique for each fluorescent dye. This leads to a much higher security and opens new possibilities for unique customer codes.
Jonas Reinhardt, Director of U-NICA Micronics AG
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UCLA University of California Los Angeles
CSEM is by far the best company we have worked with in the past 20 years. We not only recommend them without reservation.
CSEM is by far the best company we have worked with in the past 20 years. We not only recommend them without reservation but also hope for a future project when we can once again benefit from their exceptional expertise and unique skills.
Ian McLean, Distinguished Professor/Director, Department of Physics & Astronomy
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