+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

Imec demonstrates flat-panel-display-compatible pMUT technology


At the 2022 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, imec, a leading research and innovation center in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, presented a piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer (pMUT) array that is compatible with flat-panel-displays (FPD) process technologies. The array demonstrates acoustic pressures in mid-air above 1kPa, a pressure level relevant for enabling mid-air haptics and directed sound. Moving from wafer-based to FPD-compatible processes prepares the pMUT technology for the integration of future mid-air applications, such as vibro-haptics, time-of-flight (3D) sensing or gesture recognition, in novel form factors like smartphones and car dashboards. This technology can be used to create touchless, interactive, screens in automotive and consumer applications, or used in gaming.

Ultrasound technology can be used to equip smart systems with haptic feedback, giving the user a sense of touch. In the case of mid-air haptics, ultrasonic waves produce a local pressure field causing the user to ‘feel’ a light sensation without touching the object. Such applications require high-pressures at low ultrasonic frequencies.

Current solutions include, on the one hand, large standard piezoelectric elements that produce relatively high frequencies impeding a precise interaction with the user. On the other hand, small silicon-based micromachined transducer arrays can enable haptic feedback at short distance in a small area only. Our FPD-compatible thin-film pMUT technology is inherently more compatible with display manufacturing techniques. As such, it paves the way to applications with unprecedented area and depth of experience.

Imec’s FPD-compatible thin-film pMUT array now fills the niche for low-frequency, high-pressure devices for large volume mid-air applications. We demonstrate peak pressures of ~1.5 kPa in air at resonant frequencies in the range of 200 to 400 kHz, replicating the performance metrics successfully demonstrated mid-air haptic feedback on its Si wafer-based platform.

“We currently offer wafer-level demonstrations of our FPD-technology and prototyping solutions for interested parties. Additionally, we are looking into partnerships for volume manufacturing on large-area panels and plates,” says Erwin Hijzen, Program Director MEMS Ultrasound at imec.

“The possibility to integrate our pMUT technology into large panels and displays is a key milestone in realization of our vision on large area sensor surfaces. We started with ultrasound transducers for in-body imaging and now moved to mid-air applications such as haptics.” concludes Xavier Rottenberg, Fellow Sensors and Actuators at imec.

SPEA donates test equipment to university in Thailand
SONOTEC and S3 Alliance join at SEMICON Europa
Luminaries like high-NA EUV and curvilinear photomasks
SensiML and Silicon Technology join forces
TRI launches high-performance 3D AXI
SONOTEC and S3 Alliance join at SEMICON Europa
Marquee Semiconductor expands Indian presence
Micron begins Memory Manufacturing Fab
SiLC Technologies advances Machine Vision
Renesas partners with EdgeCortix
Gradiant acquires H+E Group
Webinar: Hydrogen Generation Industry Innovations to Meet Expanding North American Fab Hydrogen Requirements
EdgeCortix set to disrupt the edge market?
Evonetix places first DNA Synthesis Development Platform at Imperial College London
ASE launches Integrated Design Ecosystem
Cohu acquires Equiptest Engineering
Advantest wins 2022 Best Supplier Award from ASE Holdings
SEMI welcomes new board members
Advanced Energy breaks ground on flagship factory
GlobalFoundries opens new Malaysia office
TSMC reveals 'breakthrough' set to redefine the future of 3D IC
Delphon announce new VP, strategic marketing & business development
Particle Measuring Systems Announces Acquisition of EMS
Ireland begins high-volume production of Intel 4 Technology
Advantest to showcase latest test solutions
200 gigabits per second
KemLab Inc. applauds CHIPS Act's commitment
200mm fabs to reach record capacity by 2026
Governor DeSantis dedicates $50 million for workforce development
DOD names eight 'Microelectronics Commons' Hubs
TSMC accelerates renewable energy adoption
Mouser signs global agreement with MediaTek
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Silicon Semiconductor Magazine, the Silicon Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: