Graphene integration and manufacturing technology is reaching new levels. Graphenea Foundry has announced two new products that make use of economies of scale and semiconductor fabrication methods to create devices that make graphene transistors more accessible than ever before.
The new S4x4 pair of products is a first in a new category in the graphene field effect transistor GFET brand. The new category, dubbed the mGFET or miniGFET, is the highest up the value chain of all products that the company markets. The devices are manufactured and packaged in chip carriers, and can be used together with the freshly released Graphenea Card for seamless sensor development.
The new products embody several steps of the manufacturing chain of today’s electronic products. Manufacturing starts with fabrication of a large number of devices at a wafer level, where combinations of different steps are used to create the miniaturized structures that power today’s world. The wafers are then diced into individual dies, and packaged into chip carriers with different form factors. The most commonly employed method to interface the nano- and micrometric structures and the macroscopic chip carrier is wirebonding, during which tiny wires are attached from the chip to the carrier through ultrasonic welding. After final testing, these devices are sent to the integrated device manufacturer (IDM) for final assembly into sockets of the printed circuit, which will be assembled with other components to make a final product. The mGFET products are nearly at the end of this manufacturing chain, past the testing stage.The mGFET S4x4 products are based on a 4x4 mm2 die, which contains 7 single channel transistors and 7 three-channel transistors, totaling 28 graphene channels to pick up signals from. The devices are passivated with either a high-K dielectric (S4x4) or a polymer (S4x4P) and the die also has a central electrode which can be used as an electrode in liquid measurements. After wirebonding to a leadless chip carrier, which ensures an optimal electrical connection, every single one of the transistors is tested to ensure a device yield of >85%.
Perhaps the most important is the price of the products. The mGFET is available from $99 and 89€, breaking the $100 barrier for a fully packaged device, ready to be integrated into standard electronics. Order volume can range from a few devices for early prototyping, to JEDEC trays with hundreds of devices which are compatible with automated pick & place routines.
To further ease the integration and measurement of the graphene devices, the Foundry has released the Graphenea Card, which is fully compatible with the mGFET. The card has a socket which houses the mGFET, and switches to individually choose which transistor on the chip is being measured. There are also 3 global safety switches, to isolate the socket from the measurement apparatus while safely plugging in and removing the mGFET. Interfacing with measurement apparatus is performed through source, drain and gate miniBNC connectors for a reliable connection.
Making use of the methodologies and economies of semiconductor fab processes, and its deep experience with graphene fabrication and integration, Graphenea Foundry has made a technological and market leap towards mass-manufacturable, affordable graphene devices for everyone. The new products without a doubt represent a milestone within the graphene industry and demonstrate that the Graphenea Foundry is well on track to fulfill its graphene integration roadmap.