Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Manufacturing with light - micro-assembly of opto-electronic microstructures

Shuailong Zhang, Yongpeng Liu, Yang Qian, Weizhen Li, Joan Juvert, Pengfei Tian, Jean-Claude Navarro, Alasdair W Clark, Erdan Gu, Martin D. Dawson, Jonathan M. Cooper, and Steven L. Neale

Optical micromanipulation allows the movement and patterning of discrete micro-particles within a liquid environment. However, for manufacturing applications it is desirable to remove the liquid, leaving the patterned particles in place. In this work, we have demonstrated the use of optoelectronic tweezers (OET) to manipulate and accurately assemble Sn62Pb36Ag2 solder microspheres into tailored patterns. A technique based on freeze-drying technology was then developed that allows the assembled patterns to be well preserved and fixed in place after the liquid medium in the OET device is removed. After removing the liquid from the OET device and subsequently heating the assembled pattern and melting the solder microspheres, electrical connections between the microspheres were formed, creating a permanent conductive bridge between two isolated metal electrodes. Although this method is demonstrated with 40 µm diameter solder beads arranged with OET, it could be applied to a great range of discrete components from nanowires to optoelectronic devices, thus overcoming one of the basic hurdles in using optical micromanipulation techniques in a manufacturing micro-assembly setting.

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