Overcoming the fabrication gap: CSEM’s MEMS foundry services

Nano-lab devices to manipulate and visualize the molecular structure of samples

CSEM helps start-ups and SMEs overcome the cleanroom gap

Critical to microsystems production are MEMS cleanrooms, which are often categorized into academic cleanrooms (fostering flexibility and innovation) and volume manufacturing cleanrooms (emphasizing repeatable large-scale production). However, a notable gap exists between these models, posing challenges to companies with unique production needs, such as start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).

The gap dilemma: Challenges in low-volume production

Michele Palmieri, VP of Micro and Nano Systems at CSEM explains: “Start-ups and SMEs often find themselves lacking support from academic cleanrooms. Or else the volume of parts they need doesn’t meet the requirements of large foundries.” For such companies, building their own cleanroom infrastructure is an alternative. However, the costs, both initial and ongoing, can be exorbitant, jeopardizing business sustainability. CSEM’s lab-to-fab solution provides a clear and de-risked path towards industrialization, enabling fast scale-up for start-ups and any organization caught in the dilemma between academic cleanrooms and large foundries.”

DENSsolutions: A testimony to success

An exemplary success story within CSEM’s ecosystem is DENSsolutions, a scale-up company revolutionizing transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Unlike conventional microscopy, TEM can reveal details on an atomic scale. “Building on shared enthusiasm and interest, we pursued an exclusive partnership with CSEM that surpassed traditional collaborations. Our primary focus is on developing high-quality MEMS chips integral to our technology, enabling precise control of external stimuli (biasing, cooling, heating, liquid, and gas) while monitoring real-time structural and functional changes with atomic resolution,” says Hugo Perez, CEO of DENSsolutions. “We sought a strategic partner with expertise in MEMS design and a commitment to the highest quality standards and swift lead-times. In CSEM, we have found a partner dedicated, like us, not only to meeting practical requirements, but also to allround excellence.”

CSEM’S lab-to-fab approach: A beacon of flexibility and support

CSEM stands out by offering flexibility in emerging processes and materials, fostering innovative ideas unconstrained by academic cleanrooms or large foundries. CSEM supports an entire spectrum of needs, from design and feasibility studies to prototyping, development, characterization, reliability testing, small volume production, and even transfer to larger foundries. CSEM’s production-grade equipment, operating to ISO-9001 standards, sets it apart, ensuring a clear path towards production and reducing the time required for process transfer to larger foundries.

An enabler for the growth of the microsystems industry

CSEM’s open-access MEMS foundry services are a key enabler for the growth and competitiveness of Europe’s microsystems industry. A lab-to-fab approach not only bridges the gap between academic cleanrooms and large foundries, but also empowers companies and start-ups to innovate with flexibility and robust support. CSEM’s vision is to foster a vibrant and diverse community of microsystems innovators and entrepreneurs.

Looking for MEMS foundry services?

Contact us today if you would like to learn more. Or refer to our MEMS expertise for more information on how we could help you.