SCHOTT: a sensor packaging revolution

Pioneering technologies complement SCHOTT’s hermetic sensor packaging portfolio

Sensors are only as good as their individual components. When they need to function in extreme operating environments or deliver superior and stable optical performance, hermetic packaging and sealing comes into play.

SCHOTT has now complemented its vast and long-established portfolio of hermetic packaging components with further ground-breaking innovations: HEATAN™ technology enables reliability in ultra-high temperature applications even beyond 1000°C, while Primoceler™ glass micro bonding enables ultra-miniaturized chip-size sensor packages.

Sensor applications come with a multifaceted set of challenges and requirements for successful operation. These can include withstanding harsh operating environments, robustness, optical precision, and unique needs for shape, interface, and materials, amongst others. SCHOTT has built a reputation as the partner of choice for fulfilling these requirements. The latest additions to the company’s technology and product portfolio now further expand its well-established existing offerings:

Reduced Complexity for High Heat Applications
Revolutionary SCHOTT HEATAN™ feedthroughs perform reliably in corrosive, high-heat environments beyond 1000°C, making them suitable for innovative engine management systems or ultra-high temperature industrial applications. These impressive capabilities are enabled by innovative glass-ceramic technology, which combines the qualities of both materials. SCHOTT HEATAN™ technology also offers significantly simplified designs when compared to conventional high-temperature sensor sealing solutions.

Enabling Chip-Size Wireless Sensors and MEMS
SCHOTT recently acquired Finland-based sealing expert Primoceler, an addition that facilitated a further expansion of its portfolio to include ultra-miniature hermetic wafer level chip-scale packaging. State-of-the-art Primoceler™ technology enables the hermetic sealing of two or more glass wafers to produce chip-size “all-glass” packages. The laser-based bonding process is completely additive-free and done at room temperature, allowing the encapsulation of highly heat-sensitive electronics. While the packages are often designed with through-glass vias for signal transmission using SCHOTT HermeS® wafers, the excellent RF-transmission properties of glass also open the possibility for fully wireless device assemblies.

Supporting Precision Optical Performance
SCHOTT continues to be a leading force in the optoelectronic industry for the design and production of high-precision Transistor Outline (TO) headers and matching lens caps. These hermetically sealed assemblies enable superior performance of laser and photo diodes as well as MEMS mirrors. Applications range from industrial IR sensors to ultra-high speed data- and telecom transceivers. With more than 50 years of research and applied TO packaging knowledge, SCHOTT is also the hermetic packaging partner of choice for LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems. These sensing components are crucially important for the continuing development of autonomous driving.

Standing up to High Pressure, Aggressive Chemicals, and Moisture
Feedthroughs and packaging components from SCHOTT are also well-suited for extreme operating environments often found in safety- or performance-critical automotive and industrial pressure, temperature, inertial measurement or gas sensors. Sensor failure in such applications can lead to a complete system failure, with a risk of costly recalls or even life-threatening situations for end-users. With decades of expertise, SCHOTT is one of the few suppliers whose hermetic components have been proven to meet these challenging reliability requirements.

Catering to Ultra-High I/O & Multi-Interface Requirements
SCHOTT’s wide-ranging competencies enable significant design freedom for customers. This includes the development of ultra-high I/O count packages as well as multiple electrical and optical interfaces using microelectronic packages and multilayer ceramic substrates. Complete electrical assemblies, such as sensitive measurement and control electronics, can be encapsulated. Material options include standard metals, such as stainless steel and FeNi alloys, as well as specialty selections such as titanium, aluminum, copper-tungsten, and molybdenum.

Reliable Sensor Fixation & Sealing
As Europe’s leading expert in specialty glass, SCHOTT has well-established processes for grinding and milling of glasses. Consequently, SCHOTT offers glass powders that can be used as a highly temperature resistant “glue” for the fixation of sensors.

Rising to the Challenge, No Matter the Requirement
SCHOTT offers a broad portfolio of sensor packaging technologies able to meet even the most difficult requirements. Customization, miniaturization, high pressure, and extreme temperature are all challenges ready to be met by SCHOTT’s team of experts for sensor applications. The German technology group is a well-established and trusted partner for sensor manufacturers, with applications ranging from harsh-environment automotive settings to high-precision optoelectronics.

What is Hermetic Packaging?
For more than 75 years, SCHOTT has been renowned for its signature glass-to-metal sealing (GTMS) used for hermetic feedthroughs and packages. Glass functions as the electrical-insulating material of the metal conductor pins that feed electricity and/or signals to hermetically encapsulated components. At the same time, glass provides a durably gas-tight barrier that prevents the penetration of harmful moisture or damage from other environmental aggressors.