Model CI3D - Ceramic 3D Interconnect Devices



Microelectronic circuits continuously require new packaging technologies. Ceramic substrates are widely used in this field for their good dimension stability, high electrical insulation as well as their resistance to high temperature. But it is now possible to create microelectronic circuits on 3D carriers made with ceramics. This new type of component integrates electrical and mechanical functions on a same carrier, which gives a wider scope in terms of design and integration. Microcertec has developped a unique expertise to manufacture these ceramic 3D interconnection devices - CI3D - based upon high-precision ceramic grinding of a 3D carrier, thin-film metallizing and laser etching.

These 3D interconnect carriers demonstrate the advantages of being made with advanced ceramics but they also offer miniaturization capabilities, enhanced reliability and more simple integration stages. In actual fact, the geometry of the carriers offers a 3D arrangement so that microelectronic components can be integrated - glued, brazed…- and connected – ball bonding, ultrasonic bonding..- in a traditional way. And tooling costs inherent to the laser etching process are reduced compared to masking used in chemical etching.

3D interconnection circuits offer advantages in relation to dimension stability, resistance to vibrations and temperature variations, electrical insulation and use in vacuum for they are ceramic precision components. As a result ceramic interconnect circuits are a benefit for the following applications :

  • airborne electronics 
  • civilian and military aircrafts
  • infrared detectors
  • accelerometers and gyroscopes
  • optoelectronics sensors
  • medical (endoscopes, probes)
  • nuclear
  • oil industry (analytical instruments)


3D interconnect carriers - CI3D - are diverse in terms of products and depend upon the microelectronics application. These devices can have various dimensions and geometries as well as tight tolerances : 

  • chips, MEMS, LED's carrier
  • optoelectronic sensor carrier
  • medical sensor carrier
  • antenna module carrier


It is in principle possible to use nearly all types of advanced ceramics for the manufacturing of an interconnect carrier. In order to comply with the conditions of use generally in severe environments the most popular ceramic materials that can be used for their electrical and thermal properties are :

  • high-purity alumina - aluminium oxide - 99 % minimum
  • aluminium nitride - AlN
  • MgO and Y-TZP zirconia -  zirconium oxide 
  • quartz
  • Macor ® 

Thin-film metallising

Thin-film sputtered (PVD) layers deposited onto the ceramic after the machining are :  

  • titanium - platinum - gold
  • chromium - nickel - gold, NiCr-gold
  • copper, aluminium, silver, indium, gold-tin

These layers are suitable for industry-standards bonding or brazing processes.

Laser etching specification The deposited layers are finally laser etched in order to create the 3D electrical circuit :

  • minimum track width : 50 µm (0.002')
  • minimum insulation pad : 50 µm (0.002')
  • general tolerances of 20 µm (0.0008')

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