Large scale confinement chambers have been created in the past using traditional glass-blowing techniques. However, conventional glass-blowing can only be used to create large components and requires the components to be made one at a time. Micro-glass spheres have previously been fabricated by letting glass particles fall through a temperature-controlled drop tower. While it is possible to create hollow spheres by introducing a blowing agent in the glass, these micro-spheres are not attached to a substrate and are therefore difficult to integrate with micro-machined components on a wafer.
This invention describes a process for shaping glass on a wafer scale and how multiple micro-glass spheres can be formed simultaneously on a silicon substrate. These wafer attached spheres allow for integration with conventional micro-fabricated components and can be filled with any type of gas in post-fabrication.
Microscopic gas confinement chambers, micro-lenses, optical switches, laser fusion targets, magnetic shielding, medication capsules, lab-on-a-chip, drug delivery systems
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||7,694,531||04/13/2010||2006-176|