Stacking is in demand in the future

The new research project "MANOS" not only allows stacking artists, it welcomes them. With innovative surface coatings based on nanoparticles and the latest adhesive procedures, embedding technologies are advancing into new dimensions. That's because you can use the novel circuit board-based modular fasten and release technology to stack sensor systems.

MANOS is a research project supported by the German Federal Minis-try of Education and Research (BMBF) called the "Modular Design of Systems with nanomodified Surfaces for Automotive and Industrial Sensor Technology." A total of eight companies have been involved in this project over a period of three years with the aim of promoting the development of modular sensor systems and meeting the standards of future products for increased functionality and greater robustness.

Nanostructured and nanomodified surface coatings will help create new fasten and release technologies based on circuit boards and thus open new paths for innovative modular system designs. The modular structure allows users to connect conventional sensors with each other by means of standardized interfaces and combine them to form new sensor systems. Such modular designs for complex miniaturized multi-sensor systems are an excellent alternative to isolated applications and they enable much shorter innovation cycles of systems for various requirements.

There is a great variety in possible uses, e.g. the automotive or industrial sensory systems, but even usage for medical technology is conceivable.

Functions and relationships between the individual project partners in MANOS.

As project participants, the companies Continental, Delo Industrie Klebstoffe, Fraunhofer IZM, Kerona, RoodMicrotec, Sick and Würth Elektronik are contributing their core competencies for this project and thus adding to its innovativeness.

For example, Kerona is developing nanomodified surface protection coatings that have various modifications. They make applications possible with optic sensors or temperature and location detection sensors.

Delo Industrie Klebstoffe is developing various adhesives that are needed for self-assembly of chips and for installing them in the circuit board, as well as for stacking the individual sensor modules. The adhesives will be responsible for electrical or thermal conduction.

Single sensor modules can be stacked to create a sensor system via standardized interfaces.

With embedding technologies such as "lasercavity" and "CHIP+," Würth Elektronik is contributing the significant experience it has acquired in embedding chips. This technology will be further enhanced with the use of innovative adhesives and new surface coatings. The aim is to develop new fasten and release technologies based on circuit boards, make them capable of series production, and optimize their manufacturing to reduce costs.

Roodmicrotec is responsible for evaluating the processes by means of brief certification procedures and reliability inspections of the sensor systems. Special emphasis is given here to standardizing the certification policies.

Continental and Sick are using the sensor systems in various areas. Continental builds multisensor systems for automotive transmission controls. Sick produces industrial optical miniature sensors and sensor systems. Continental and Sick thus face different kinds of challenges in terms of usage, but they both have one thing in common: the focus on standardizing the interfaces in terms of cost effectiveness.

Fraunhofer IZM is supporting all project partners in its basic research, laboratory investigations and theoretical approaches.