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Research Project POxIR

Fabrication of polycrystalline oxidic IR windows and their integration into an IR sensor

The focus of the POxIR project, funded by the Thüringer Aufbaubank (TAB), is the development and manufacturing of innovative transparent ceramics that are used as optical windows in infrared sensors (IR sensors).

For these ceramic windows to be integrated into the IR sensors, they must be equipped with a structured solderable metallization that also ensures hermetic sealing. The sub-project of 5microns GmbH investigates suitable material combinations and manufacturing processes for the metallic thin films on the transparent ceramics.

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Transparentkeramikfenster aus Mg-Al-Spinell

Image credit: © Fraunhofer IKTS

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POxIR - Overall Project Goal

Combination of Ceramics with Thin-Film Metallizations

The main goal of the partners in the POxIR project is to develop novel transparent ceramics through the collaboration of leading experts and institutions in the fields of ceramic technologies and microsystem technology. These ceramics are then to be provided with structured thin-film metallizations from microsystem technology to prepare them for use in technical applications, specifically as optical windows in IR sensors.

A central step in this process is metallization: This makes the ceramic window solderable and thus allows the integration of the windows into the IR sensors. At the same time, the metallization must ensure the hermetic sealing of the sensor.

It is not only the interaction of the transparent ceramics with the coating materials themselves that needs to be investigated, but also the compatibility of all materials with the auxiliary materials and process conditions of the technologies used.

At a Glance
  • Project Partners: 5microns GmbH, Micro-Hybrid Electronic GmbH, Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS
  • Duration: 01.10.2023 to 30.09.2026
  • Funding Program: Funding program of the Free State of Thuringia for the promotion of research, technology, and innovation (FTI)
  • Project Number: 2023 VFE 0001
  • Project Goal: Development and manufacturing of innovative transparent ceramics for use as optical windows in IR sensors
  • Sub-project of 5microns GmbH: Structured metallization of the ceramics to create solderable thin films; additionally, creation of optical functional layers
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration between industry and research institutions to establish the foundations for future sensor technologies.

Objectives of the 5microns GmbH Sub-project

As a consortium partner in this ambitious project, 5microns GmbH is responsible for the microtechnical coating of the transparent ceramics. This involves both the preparation of assembly and connection technology (AVT) through the creation of solderable metallizations, which also ensure the sealing of the subsequent IR sensors. Additionally, this involves additional optical functional layers on the transparent ceramics, such as targeted anti-reflective coatings.

Our focus is on investigating the compatibility of the transparent ceramics with the various coating processes and identifying suitable layer materials that meet both technical and economic requirements.

With our expertise in microtechnologies, we aim to significantly contribute to enabling the use of transparent ceramics in IR sensors and to increase the performance and application range of the final products.

Innovation and Technology

The POxIR project exemplifies innovation in the field of sensor technology and material science. Through close collaboration between industry and research institutions such as Fraunhofer IKTS and Micro-Hybrid Electronic GmbH, we are setting new standards in the development and application of transparent ceramics. Our goal is to not only overcome the technical challenges through this interdisciplinary approach but also to lay the groundwork for future technologies in sensor technology.

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Innovative solutions, technical expertise, and comprehensive support – 5microns is your reliable partner for microsystem technologies. Contact us to work together on tailor-made solutions for your specific requirements.

Lars Dittrich
Dipl.-Ing. Lars Dittrich

5microns GmbH
Margarethenstr. 6
98693 Ilmenau

Phone: +49 3677-799639-0
Fax: +49 3677-799639-1

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