DYCONEX AG, an MST company, has developed a novel approach to miniaturized, hermetic and highly reliable smart sensor modules with diameters down to 6 millimeters. They are ideal for use in medical, food processing, pharmaceutical, chemical or industrial applications.
The tiny modules are based on Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP), a thermoplastic dielectric material with very low water absorption (< 0.04%), high chemical stability and low thermal expansion. LCP is best suited both as a substrate material and as an encapsulate. The permeability for water and gases is the lowest among all polymeric materials. Soak tests with an embedded, moisture sensitive test chip have demonstrated long term stability (> 14 months) and sufficient hermeticity for exposures in harsh environments.
Processing techniques for LCP substrates are the same as for other substrate materials. Resolution of lines, spaces and vias are comparable, multilayer structures can be built and part of the metal layers can be used to form a coil for NFC (Near Field Communication). The substrates can be assembled with standard SMT processes as well as connected and sealed without the need for any adhesives by benefiting from its thermoplastic properties. LCP is a homogenous material and can be easily machined with UV lasers with a precision down to the micrometer scale, for example to integrate cavities and openings for recessed components.