– This is worldwide unique gadgets. No one else on this planet can do what we do, says Jerker Delsing, Professor at EISLAB at Luleå University.
The cleanroom was inaugurated by Luleå's Mayor Yvonne Stålnacke and Pro Vice-Chancellor Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn.
– For Luleå, it is important that the university continues to develop and continues to be at the forefront, says Yvonne Stålnacke.
Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn stressed laboratory's importance for future trends in networked society, the Internet of Things (such as machines, vehicles, goods and household appliances equipped with small built-in sensors and computers that can perceive its environment and interact with it) and Pervasive Computing.
– The cleanroom is a prerequisite for us if we want to be able to produce research results that contribute to an attractive and sustainable society, says Birgitta Bervall-Kåreborn.
– But to achieve these visions, we need to constantly develop new technologies that are smaller, more robust and more energy efficient.
New construction methods for electronics
The research that will be conducted in the clean room is about new construction methods for electronics in general, and circuit boards in particular. The goal is to reduce the possible dimensions of circuits board from the current tenths of a millimeter down to a micron.
Today's technology is based on encapsulated electronics. If encapsulation can be removed from the process and we manage to reduce the size of the circuit boards, several positive effects will occur. The cost of production will become lower, when the leaders will be shorter they require less power and the electronics become faster.
Future electronics production will be done by so-called Sequential Build Up (SBU). SBU technology means that electronic circuits are produced using the sequential structure in which the chip and passive components, connectors and power supply installed with the help of a solderless, additive manufacturing process. This process can be a breakthrough for the production of embedded systems in small dimensions.
Clean environment for sensitive components
Electronic components are sensitive to dust particles, air brown microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapors. Therefore, an absolutely clean environment and the researchers who are in the lab must wear protective suits and pass an airlock before they go into the lab.
– To create technology understanding and addressing these kinds of processes takes time. The clean room will enable us to continue development forward and maintain our place in the forefront of research, says Jerker Delsing.
Researchers at the Department EISLAB at Luleå University of Technology challenge the conventional technology, and predicts that the traditional process of chip encapsulation and soldering will be replaced with the built-in components based on SBU technology.