Micro-scale goes upscale

CranfieldUniversity has become a major partner in a new research consortium which has been set up to address some of the key issues encountered in batch manufacturing of micro-scale devices. Called Q2M (Quality to Micro), it is a €3.2 million Strategically Targeted Research Project (STREP) supported by the European Union under the 6th Framework programme.



The aim is to develop generic micro-fabrication technologies that can be used to build multi-component micro-mechanical and micro-optical devices using several different materials.



Micro-fabrication techniques are used for the production of components and systems which range in size from a few millimetres down to 100 nanometres. Application fields include the automotive industry (airbag sensors, tire pressure sensors), telecom applications (switches and filters), publishing applications (print-head technology), medical applications (catheter based instruments) and biotechnical instrumentation (DNA analysis). The new micro-fabrication approach also supports the mobile communications market, incorporating non-silicon materials that offer enhanced performance and capability into microwave circuits.



The Q2M Consortium is comprised of academic partners and industrial companies engaged in technology development, each an expert in a core aspect of the multidisciplinary scientific challenge. The group also includes a number of technology end-users who will anchor the work to real industrial needs, creating the basis for further development and exploitation.