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Nano and Micro Systems

Multilayer, micromachined high-temperature capacitors producing designed values over a range of tens of nF to hundreds of nF.

Advanced High-Temperature-Tolerant Component Technologies for Oil and Gas Applications

The extreme-environment sensors and electronics expertise that exists within MDL has led to development projects with the oil and gas industries to create novel components that are deployable down hole for prolonged and uninterrupted operation.

JPL continues to develop high-temperature-tolerant components such as carbon nanotube (CNT)–based vacuum electronic devices, and silicon micromachining-based capacitors. The process of development involves hybrid microassembly and improved vacuum packaging technologies. Using a manual hybrid assembly technique, several active devices were fabricated and tested in traditional vacuum packages.

Above: A carbon nanotube vacuum microelectronic device is being operated at high temperature inside a coil. This technology has the potential for applications for extreme environments such as Venus.

Such vacuum-packaged CNT diodes and triodes revealed that the hybrid microassembly process is producing devices that are approaching field deployment specification for oil and gas applications. Multilayer, micromachined capacitors have been made ready to be field-tested as well. Recently, these components were tested and verified with developments now proceeding towards automated microassembly, chip-scale vacuum packaging, and process yield enhancement stages.

A hybrid CNT vacuum electronic device ready for vacuum packaging. The device is made using a microassembly process involving metal-welded CNT cathodes, grid electronics, and metallic anodes with precision spacers inside a ceramic sandwich.

Current Projects