Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG) is the world’s largest contract research organisation and undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. At present, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft maintains more than 80 research institutions and institutes with a total staff of about 18,000 scientists, technical and administrative personnel. In this project, Fraunhofer society will participate with its Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT. The Fraunhofer EMFT develops application-oriented system technologies, in particular in the field of microelectronics and microsystems engineering. http://www.emft.fraunhofer.de/en.html
The department Micromechanics, Actuators and Fluidics (MAF) of Fraunhofer EMFT, headed by Dr. Martin Richter, focuses to microdosing systems since 1999. Key competence is the active handling of small amount of liquids or gases. Microdosing systems consist of micro actuators like micro pumps, micro valves or jet injectors. Additionally, flow sensors, free flow protection and different solutions to handle the bubble and particle problems in microfluidics are provided. The key component is the piezo driven silicon micropump, which is the world smallest micropump and has been modified for different industrial applications.
Fraunhofer EMFT developed a platform for microfluidic actuators made of silicon on wafer level. Piezo driven silicon micro diaphragm pumps with passive check valves (size 7x7x0,8 mm3) are manufactured on 6 inch wafer. Especially a special method to mount the glue and pick&place the piezos to wafer level has been developed. Next, a device to control and test micro pumps fluidically on wafer level has been developed. These full wafer back end and test methods are an important puzzle piece for a cost efficient mass production of silicon micro pumps.
Next, Fraunhofer EMFT has huge experience to apply micro pumps for industrial and medical applications. For that, EMFT realised packaging and housing of silicon micro pumps together with a control electronics for many applications like lab technology (pipetting), oil dosing, infusion pumps, wound healing, and many more.
The role of Fraunhofer in this project is to support the pilot line (X-Fab for frontend and backend manufacturing of silicon micro pumps, and Greenhouse for packaging and application specific housing).