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ZEMI - Product-oriented Research and Development at the Microsystem Technology Center Berlin


The idea behind microsystem application is to combine microelectronic and non-electrical (microoptical, micromechanical, etc.) components and subsystems into a functional miniaturized system. Hence the choice of technology and material as well as the system design determine size, weight, performance, user-friendliness, reliability and, finally, the price of a product and thus its market success.

The increased utilization of micro-technological or even microsystem components represents a challenge for future packaging technology with regard to increased functionality of products. Packaging and interconnection technology plays a key role in this context. Today manufacturers often use standard technologies from microelectronics. Here they can rely on an established infrastructure of material, equipment and service suppliers, R&D institutions and system users.

Faced with the rapid development of individual components and micro-technology subsystems, the established standard technologies will not suffice the growing de-mands much longer. This development is further enhanced by the need to integrate non-electrical information, such as optical, mechanical, fluidic or chemical signals. But especially small and medium-sized companies (SME) are not able to fulfill the requirements of the development and production of these products.

Aspects, which need to be paid particular attention include:

  • simulation and design technology for fast product development,
  • new materials, components and packaging technologies,
  • cost-efficient and flexible substrate materials,
  • fine pitch and multilayer technology,
  • integration of optical and electrical signal transmission, sensor and actuator functions
  • effective manufacturing processes,
  • as well as a environmentally compatible choice of materials and processes.

The manufacturing processes needed for the realization of future highly complex and mobile products require the integration of design, technology and quality. Terms like Wafer Level Packaging (WLP), System on a Chip (SOC) or System in Package (SIP) lead the way – only to let well-known components or characterized materials enter the optimized production process.

To integrate new technologies into the production process, fully automated, highly flexible standardized production lines are needed. The close co-operation between users, material and equipment suppliers is a necessary prerequisite for such a development. With view to this background nine research institutes with strong competencies in this field have established the Microsystem Technology Center Berlin (ZEMI) to support companies during product development and manufacturing. The Berlin Senate and the European Union sponsor the activity with nearly 10 Mio € from their funds for the improvement of regional infrastructure. Members of ZEMI are institutes of the Technical University of Berlin (Institutes IFMT and IPT, Research Center Microperipherics FSP-MP) and of the Fraunhofer Society (Institutes IPK and IZM), as well as Federal Institute for Material Reseach and Testing (BAM), BESSY II and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institute (FBH).

The center has been established at the Science and Industry Park in Berlin-Adlershof. Goal of the center is to facilitate the transfer of microsystem products from the idea up to the market by supporting regional SMEs with expert knowledge and technological infrastructure (laboratories, equipment, etc.). The results are micro-components, optimized technologies and processes as well as prototypes and small series, all related to a specific task from the industry and solved with the combined power of different research institutions.

ZEMI-activities focus on:

  • Design and system integration (Fraunhofer IZM)
  • Micooptical and micromechanical components (FBH, BESSY, TU-IFMT)
  • Substrate and Thin film Technologies (BAM)
  • Assembly and interconnection technologies, packaging (Fraunhofer IZM, TU-FSP-MP)
  • Manufacturing, 3D-integration and process automation (Fraunhofer IPK, TU-IPT)
  • Tests of functional aspects and reliability (FBH, Fraunhofer IZM).

Renowned world-wide for excellence in system integration and packaging technology, the Fraunhofer IZM will undoubtedly play a significant role in the successful establishment of ZEMI-Adlershof, providing man power, key technologies and equipment.