{1241} revision 4 modified: 06-07-2013 00:15 gmt

http://thesis.library.caltech.edu/4671/1/PhDThesisFinalChanglinPang.pdf

  • Notes: Michigan probes suffer from thickness limited to <15um, hence are often not stiff enough to penetrate the pia & arachnoid.
  • Likewise, utach arrays are fabricated through a substrate, so cannot be made longer than 1.5-2mm. Plus, they are connected with 25um gold wires, which is both rigid and requires a fair bit of work. (Perhaps with a wirebond machine?)
  • SiO2 suffers from high internal stress (formed at high temperature) and tends to hydrate over time, both making it a less than ideal insulator for biological applications.
    • Silicon is slowly attacked in saline.
  • Use Cr/Au traces, and Ti/Pt electrode sites on his probes.
    • 2.5um minimum trace width.
  • Importantly, they solve the problem of parylene to silicon interconnect by simply fabricating the wires on parylene -- like ours -- and only use silicon as a structural support.
    • Silicon is roughened via XeF2 for good parylene adhesion.
      • Alas, does not survive a long-term soak -- but maybe this is useful? (page 102)
        • This too can be solved via bringing the parylene in vacuum up to melting temperature to better bond with Si.
  • Metal pads on parylene are destroyed by wedge bonding -- heat and pressure are too high!
  • Their solution is to use conductive epoxy & fan the wires out to omnetics pitch (635um) in what they call parylene-PCB-omnetics connector (PPO).
  • Plated a 5um x 5um electrode with platinum black to reduce the impedance from 1.1M to 9.2k (!!)
    • Problem is that Pt black is fragile, and may be scraped off during insertion -- see figure on page 95.
  • Probe shanks are ~ 170um x 150um, tip spade-type patterned via DRIE.
  • To be able to sustain soaking and lifetime testing, thick parylene layers are needed for the flexible parylene cable. The total parylene thickness of our neural probes is about 13 μm which results in a long etching time. We use photoresist as a mask when etching parylene using RIE O2 plasma etching; the etching rate of parylene and photoresist in RIE is roughly 1:1. Thick photoresist (> 20 μm) with high resolution is needed. AZ 9260 thick-film photoresist is designed for the more-demanding higher-resolution thick-resist requirements. It provides high resolution with superior aspect ratios, as well as wide focus and exposure latitude and good sidewall profiles. A process of two spinning coats using AZ 9260 has been developed to make a high-resolution thick photoresist mask of about 30 μm. Figure 4-11 shows the thick photoresist on the probe tip to guarantee a sharp tip after plasma etching. The photoresist is hard baked in oven at 120 oC for 30 min; the thick photoresist needs to be carefully handled during baking to avoid thermal cracking.
  • Otline electrolysis-based actuators ... interesting but hopefully not needed.