Another basic building block in MEMS processing is the ability to deposit thin films of material. Device requirements range in thickness between few hundred angstroms to tens of microns or more. High quality thin film deposition can enhance performance and improve yields.  Micralyne uses various techniques for thin film deposition including sputtering, evaporation and electroplating.  After the film is successfully deposited, it can be etched using processes described in the Photolithography and Etching sections.


Custom thin film metallization consists of sputtering metal coatings with patterns made to customer specifications. Micralyne routinely deposits a wide variety of films on many different substrate materials (silicon, glass, alumina etc.). Engineers use tri-target sputtering systems to provide consistent film quality and access to custom adhesion, barrier and conductive layers.The target materials available at Micralyne include gold, platinum, silver, aluminum (and alloys), titanium, tungsten (and alloys), tantalum, chromium, and nickel alloys to name a few. Depending on the material selected, thin film sputtered layers can range from 5 nm for adhesion layers to microns for conduction layers. Patterning is done to match customer specifications using wet chemical etch or liftoff techniques.

Sputtering Specifications

  • Substrates Coated: silicon, SOI, glass, quartz, sapphire, diamond, AlN, alumina, other
  • Conductive Layers: gold (Au), copper (Cu), aluminum (Al)
  • Barrier Layers: titanium/tungsten (TiW), platinum (Pt), molybdenum (Mo), nickel copper (NiCu), other
  • Sputtering Adhesion Layers: chromium (Cr), titanium (Ti), titanium/tungsten (TiW), other
  • Resistive Layers: tantalum nitride (TaN)


  • Au, AuSn (10-40 Sn wt%)


GLAD – Nano-Engineered Thin Films

GLancing Angle Deposition (GLAD) for the creation of GLAD thin films combines physical vapor deposition with computer-controlled substrate motion to create GLAD nano thin films with engineered nanostructures. These nanostructures can be engineered with features, such as film thickness, porosity, and geometry. Developed using patented technologies at the University of Alberta, Glancing Angle Deposition broadens your choice of materials. Potential applications of GLAD thin films include:

  • High surface electrodes
  • Chromatographic media for separations
  • Solar cells
  • Structural alignment (LCOS, SERS)
  • Biosensors for medical diagnostics
  • Humidity sensor
  • Photonic crystals

Depending on your needs, GLAD thin films can be engineered to create unique properties for:

  • Light manipulation
  • Molecular manipulation
  • Mechanical response
  • Electronic field manipulation
  • Protective properties
  • Chemical and electrochemical interaction
  • Accessible surface area


Micralyne Proprietary GLAD Technology

With 10 years of development expertise, Micralyne offers its proprietary GLAD deposition of nano thin films, giving you established patent protection.

A variety of post-processing techniques, such as functionalization, template inversion, and electroplating, are available. Film thicknesses range from hundreds of nanometres to tens of micrometres.

GLAD thin film is available at early stage development through to volume manufacturing. This technology can be combined with MEMS processing and MEMS packaging techniques.


  • PECVD oxide (uniformity < 5%, thickness 100 Å – 7 µm, good stress control)
  • PECVD nitride (LF/HF) (uniformity < 5%, stress control ± 50 MPa)
  • PECVD oxynitride
  • PECVD amorphous silicon
  • LPCVD polysilicon


  • E-beam evaporation (lift-off compatible processes, < 5% uniformity)
  • Al, Ag, Au, Cr, Ni, Pt, SiO2, Sn, Ti
  • Thickness: 100 Å – 2 µm

Gold/Tin Solder

AuSn solder electroplating is a key technology developed by Micralyne to lower your production costs and give you a better MEMS product. This state-of-the-art, patented process for electroplating AuSn solder alloy is a giant step forward in electroplating solder technology.

Why did we develop this unique process for AuSn solder electroplating? Hard eutectic Au-20 Sn (wt%) solder is commonly used for device packaging in optoelectronic and microelectronic industries due to its superior mechanical and thermal properties.

To reduce the size of electronic and optoelectronic parts, the packaging industry has tried to miniaturize bonding media features. This has led to the use of more delicate processes for depositing and placing solders between submounts and dies.

Providing low production costs and a firm control over thickness and composition, Micralyne’s gold-tin (AuSn) solder electroplating process is an attractive alternative to current thin film techniques.


AuSn solder plating can be used:

  • At compositions from 10 to 40 wt % Sn
  • In conventional or patterned shapes
  • On metalized substrates
  • At virtually any thickness


Ready to discuss project needs? Call us on 1.780.431.4400 or email us at