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Patent Analysis of

Micro-transfer printable electronic component

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10153256

Application Number

US15/373865

Application Date

09 December 2016

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

X-CELEPRINT LIMITED

Original Assignee (Applicant)

X-CELEPRINT LIMITED

International Classification

H01L25/075,H01L33/62,H01L25/00,H01L23/498,H01L25/16

Cooperative Classification

H01L25/0753,H01L23/49838,H01L24/24,H01L24/82,H01L24/97

Inventor

COK, RONALD S.,BOWER, CHRISTOPHER,MEITL, MATTHEW,PREVATTE, JR., CARL

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10153256 Micro-transfer printable electronic component 1 US10153256 Micro-transfer printable electronic component 2 US10153256 Micro-transfer printable electronic component 3
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Abstract

A micro-transfer printable electronic component includes one or more electronic components, such as integrated circuits or LEDs. Each electronic component has device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic component and a post side. A plurality of electrical conductors includes at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts. One or more electrically conductive connection posts protrude beyond the post side. Each connection post is electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors. Additional connection posts can form electrical jumpers that electrically connect electrical conductors on a destination substrate to which the printable electronic component is micro-transfer printed. The printable electronic component can be a full-color pixel in a display.

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Claims

1. A micro-transfer printable electronic component, comprising:

a dielectric layer; a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side; a plurality of electrical conductors disposed at least partly in contact with the dielectric layer, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts; and one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors and comprising a sharp point extending beyond the dielectric layer formed by a peak area smaller than a base area.

2. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the dielectric layer is on or adjacent to the post side, wherein the dielectric layer is on or adjacent to the stamp side, or comprising one or more dielectric layers that are on both the stamp side and the post side.

3. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 2, wherein the dielectric layer is transparent, the electronic devices include one or more LEDs, and the LEDs emit light through the transparent dielectric layer.

4. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 2, wherein the electronic devices include one or more LEDs and the LEDs emit light in a direction opposite the dielectric layer.

5. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the connection posts are first connection posts and comprising one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the post side, each additional connection post electrically connected with an electrical conductor to a first connection post or an additional connection post.

6. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the electronic devices include a circuit controller electrically connected to at least one connection post and to at least one device electrical contact.

7. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, comprising:

a display substrate having a plurality of contact pads or electrical conductors; and wherein at least one connection post is in electrical contact with at least one contact pad or at least one electrical conductor.

8. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the electronic component is an LED component having one or more LED electronic devices and an optional circuit controller and the device electrical contacts include LED electrical contacts.

9. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the connection posts comprise an electrically conductive layer formed over a core of a different material.

10. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 9, wherein the different material of the core is one or more of a dielectric, silicon dioxide, and silicon nitride.

11. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the connection posts extend or electrically contact an electrical conductor through a via in a dielectric layer.

12. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein the electronic component is unpackaged and the electronic devices include one or more bare dies.

13. A micro-transfer printable electronic component wafer, comprising:

a wafer comprising a wafer material; a patterned sacrificial layer forming sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer; a plurality of micro-transfer printable electronic components, each micro-transfer printable electronic component formed entirely over one of the sacrificial portions and connected to an anchor portion of the anchor portions by a tether,wherein each micro-transfer printable electronic component comprises:

a dielectric layer; a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side; a plurality of electrical conductors, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts; and one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors.

14. A micro-transfer printable electronic component, comprising:

a dielectric layer; a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side; a plurality of electrical conductors, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts; one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors; and a tether or a fractured, broken, or separated tether, or wherein one or more of the electronic devices comprises a fractured, broken, or separated tether.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A micro-transfer printable electronic component, comprising:
    • a dielectric layer
    • a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side
    • a plurality of electrical conductors disposed at least partly in contact with the dielectric layer, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts
    • and one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors and comprising a sharp point extending beyond the dielectric layer formed by a peak area smaller than a base area.
    • 2. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the dielectric layer is on or adjacent to the post side, wherein
    • 5. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the connection posts are first connection posts and comprising
    • 6. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the electronic devices include a circuit controller electrically connected to at least one connection post and to at least one device electrical contact.
    • 7. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, comprising:
      • a display substrate having a plurality of contact pads or electrical conductors
      • and wherein at least one connection post is in electrical contact with at least one contact pad or at least one electrical conductor.
    • 8. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the electronic component is an LED component having
    • 9. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the connection posts comprise
    • 11. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the connection posts extend or electrically contact an electrical conductor through a via in a dielectric layer.
    • 12. The micro-transfer printable electronic component of claim 1, wherein
      • the electronic component is unpackaged and the electronic devices include one or more bare dies.
  • 13
    13. A micro-transfer printable electronic component wafer, comprising:
    • a wafer comprising a wafer material
    • a patterned sacrificial layer forming sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer
    • a plurality of micro-transfer printable electronic components, each micro-transfer printable electronic component formed entirely over one of the sacrificial portions and connected to an anchor portion of the anchor portions by a tether,wherein each micro-transfer printable electronic component comprises: a dielectric layer
    • a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side
    • a plurality of electrical conductors, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts
    • and one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors.
  • 14
    14. A micro-transfer printable electronic component, comprising:
    • a dielectric layer
    • a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side
    • a plurality of electrical conductors, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts
    • one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors
    • and a tether or a fractured, broken, or separated tether, or wherein one or more of the electronic devices comprises a fractured, broken, or separated tether.
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Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

Reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 8,889,485, entitled Methods for Surface Attachment of Flipped Active Components by Christopher Bower, filed Jun. 7, 2012, to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/822,868, entitled Compound Micro-Assembly Strategies and Devices by Bower et al., filed Aug. 10, 2015, and to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/822,864, entitled Chiplets with Connection Posts by Prevatte et al., filed Aug. 10, 2015, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to structures and methods for electrically interconnecting light-emitting diodes to contact pads on a substrate using micro-transfer printing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Substrates with electronically active components such as transistors or light-emitting diodes distributed over the extent of the substrate can be used in a variety of electronic systems, for example, flat-panel imaging devices such as flat-panel liquid crystal or organic light emitting diode (OLED) display devices and in flat-panel solar cells. A variety of methods may be used to distribute electronically active circuits over substrates, including forming the electronically active circuits on a substrate and forming the components on separate substrates and placing them on a substrate. In the latter case, a variety of assembly technologies for device packaging may be used.

The electronically active components are typically formed on a substrate by sputtering a layer of inorganic semiconductor material or by spin-coating organic material over the entire substrate. Inorganic semiconductor materials can be processed to improve their electronic characteristics, for example amorphous silicon can be treated to form low-temperature or high-temperature poly-crystalline silicon. In other process methods, microcrystalline semiconductor layers can be formed by using an underlying seeding layer. These methods typically improve the electron mobility of the semiconductor layer. The substrate and layer of semiconductor material can be photolithographically processed to define electronically active components, such as transistors. Such transistors are known as thin-film transistors (TFTs) since they are formed in a thin layer of semiconductor material, typically silicon. Transistors may also be formed in thin layers of organic materials. In these devices, the substrate is often made of glass, for example Corning Eagle or Jade glass designed for display applications.

The above techniques have some limitations. Despite processing methods used to improve the performance of thin-film transistors, such transistors may provide performance that is lower than the performance of other integrated circuits (ICs) formed in mono-crystalline semiconductor material. Semiconductor material and active components can be provided only on portions of the substrate, leading to wasted material and processing costs. The choice of substrate materials can also be limited by the processing steps necessary to process the semiconductor material and the photo-lithographic steps used to pattern the active components. For example, plastic substrates have a limited chemical and heat tolerance and do not readily survive photo-lithographic processing. Furthermore, the manufacturing equipment used to process large substrates with thin-film circuitry is relatively expensive. Other substrate materials that may be used include quartz, for example, for integrated circuits using silicon-on-insulator structures as described in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0289115 and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0123134. However, such substrate materials can be more expensive or difficult to process.

Other methods used for distributing electronically functional components over a substrate in the circuit board assembly industry include, for example, pick-and-place technologies for integrated circuits provided in a variety of packages, for example, pin-grid arrays, ball-grid arrays, and flip-chips. Such packages typically include an integrated circuit die located within a package cavity with wire bonds connecting electrical contacts on the die to pins extending from the package. However, these techniques may be limited in the size of the integrated circuits that can be placed.

In other manufacturing techniques, a mono-crystalline semiconductor wafer is employed as the substrate. While this approach can provide substrates with the same performance as integrated circuits, the size of such substrates may be limited, for example, to a 12-inch diameter circle, and the wafers are relatively expensive compared to other substrate materials such as glass, polymer, or quartz.

In yet another approach, thin layers of semiconductor are bonded to a substrate and then processed. Such a method is known as semiconductor-on-glass or silicon-on-glass (SOG) and is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 7,605,053, issued Oct. 20, 2009. If the semiconductor material is crystalline, high-performance thin-film circuits can be obtained. However, the bonding technique and the processing equipment for the substrates to form the thin-film active components on large substrates can be relatively expensive.

Publication No. 11-142878 of the Patent Abstracts of Japan entitled Formation of Display Transistor Array Panel describes etching a substrate to remove it from a thin-film transistor array on which the TFT array was formed. TFT circuits formed on a first substrate can be transferred to a second substrate by adhering the first substrate and the TFTs to the surface of the second substrate and then etching away the first substrate, leaving the TFTs bonded to the second substrate. This method may require etching a significant quantity of material, and may risk damaging the exposed TFT array.

Other methods of locating material on a substrate are described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,127,810. In this approach, a first substrate carries a thin-film object to be transferred to a second substrate. An adhesive is applied to the object to be transferred or to the second substrate in the desired location of the object. The substrates are aligned and brought into contact. A laser beam irradiates the object to abrade the transferring thin film so that the transferring thin film adheres to the second substrate. The first and second substrates are separated by peeling the film in the abraded areas from the first substrate and transferring it to the second substrate. In one embodiment, a plurality of objects is selectively transferred by employing a plurality of laser beams to abrade selected area. Objects to be transferred can include thin-film circuits.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,969,624 describes a method of transferring a device from a first substrate onto a holding substrate by selectively irradiating an interface with an energy beam. The interface is located between a device for transfer and the first substrate and includes a material that generates ablation upon irradiation, thereby releasing the device from the substrate. For example, a light-emitting diode (LED) is made of a nitride semiconductor on a sapphire substrate. The energy beam is directed to the interface between the sapphire substrate and the nitride semiconductor releasing the LED and allowing the LED to adhere to a holding substrate coated with an adhesive. The adhesive is then cured. These methods, however, may require the patterned deposition of adhesive on the object(s) or on the second substrate. Moreover, the laser beam that irradiates the object may need to be shaped to match the shape of the object, and the laser abrasion can damage the object to be transferred. Furthermore, the adhesive cure takes time, which may reduce the throughput of the manufacturing system.

Another method for transferring active components from one substrate to another is described in AMOLED Displays using Transfer-Printed Integrated Circuits published in the Proceedings of the 2009 Society for Information Display International Symposium Jun. 2-5, 2009, in San Antonio Tex., US, vol. 40, Book 2, ISSN 0009-0966X, paper 63.2 p. 947. In this approach, small integrated circuits are formed over a buried oxide layer on the process side of a crystalline wafer. The small integrated circuits, or chiplets, are released from the wafer by etching the buried oxide layer formed beneath the circuits. A PDMS stamp is pressed against the wafer and the process side of the chiplets is adhered to the stamp. The chiplets are pressed against a destination substrate or backplane coated with an adhesive and thereby adhered to the destination substrate. The adhesive is subsequently cured. In another example, U.S. Pat. No. 8,722,458 entitled Optical Systems Fabricated by Printing-Based Assembly teaches transferring light-emitting, light-sensing, or light-collecting semiconductor elements from a wafer substrate to a destination substrate or backplane.

In such methods it is generally necessary to electrically connect the small integrated circuits or chiplets to electrically conductive elements such as contact pads on the destination substrate. By applying electrical signals to conductors on the destination substrate the small integrated circuits are energized and made operational. The electrical connections between the small integrated circuits and the contact pads are typically made by photolithographic processes in which a metal is evaporated or sputtered onto the small integrated circuits and the destination substrate to form a metal layer, the metal layer is coated with a photoresist that is exposed to a circuit connection pattern, and the metal layer and photoresist are developed by etching and washing to form the patterned electrical connections between the small integrated circuits and the contact pads on the destination substrate. Additional layers, such as interlayer dielectric insulators can also be required. This process is expensive and requires a number of manufacturing steps. Moreover, the topographical structure of the small integrated circuits over the destination substrate renders the electrical connections problematic. For example, it can be difficult to form a continuous conductor from the destination substrate to the small integrated circuit because of the differences in height over the surface between the small integrated circuits and the destination substrate.

There is a need, therefore, for structures and methods that enable the electrical interconnection of small integrated circuits, such as micro transfer printed chiplets or light-emitting diodes, to destination substrates.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with embodiments of the present invention, electronic components incorporating one or more electronic devices having active elements such as transistors, diodes, or light-emitting diodes and passive elements such as resistors, capacitors, and conductors are micro transfer printed from a native source wafer to a non-native destination substrate or backplane. The electronic components include an electrically conducting connection post that protrudes from a side of the electronic component and is brought into contact with a destination substrate contact pad to form an electrical connection between the electronic component and the destination substrate. The electronic components can be at least partially adhered to the destination substrate by forcefully driving the connection posts into the contact pads when micro transfer printing, for example by exerting mechanical pressure on the transfer stamp. The connection posts, the contact pads, or both the connection posts and contact pads can be deformed or crumpled and the connection post can be driven into or through the backplane contact pad, thereby wedging the connection post in the destination substrate contact pad to adhere the connection post to the destination substrate contact pad and form an electrical contact between them. As a consequence, the connection post can be welded to the destination substrate contact pad. An additional heat treatment can be provided to facilitate the welding. Alternatively or additionally, a layer of metal, for example a solder can be provided on either the surface of the connection post or the destination substrate contact pad, or both, that can be heated, causing the solder to reflow and thereby both adhere and electrically connect the connection post to the destination substrate contact pad. Moreover, an adhesive can be provided on the destination substrate or electronic component to adhere the electronic component to the destination substrate. The adhesive can be patterned, can be located between the electronic component and the destination substrate, or can underfill the volume between the electronic component and the destination substrate. The adhesive can cover the destination substrate contact pad and the connection post can extend through the adhesive.

The electronic component can be a micro-transfer printable electronic component and can include a tether that fractures, separates, or disengages when the electronic component is micro-transfer printed. The electronic devices in the electronic component can also be micro-transfer printed to the electronic component and can also include a similar tether that fractures, separates, or disengages when the electronic device(s) are micro-transfer printed. Thus, the electronic component can be made using micro-transfer printing and the electronic component itself can be micro-transfer printed. The connection posts can have an electrically conductive layer formed over a core of a different material, for example a metal layer formed over a dielectric core, such as silicon oxide or silicon nitride.

In an embodiment of the present invention, the electronic component includes a plurality of electronic devices, such as integrated circuits, disposed in contact with a dielectric layer. The electronic devices have device electrical contacts. Alternatively, the electronic component is an LED component including at least one LED electronic device having LED electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the LED. The electronic component has a post side and an opposing stamp side, and a plurality of electrical conductors. The stamp side is configured for contact with a stamp pillar (for example an elastomeric stamp) for micro-transfer printing. At least one electrical conductor is electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts. One or more electrically conductive connection posts protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side. Each connection post is electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors.

The device electrical contacts can be provided on a common side of the electronic component. The dielectric layer or a dielectric substrate can be provided on the connection post side or on the stamp side of the electronic component opposite the connection posts. If the dielectric layer or dielectric substrate is provided on the connection post side, the connection posts protrude beyond the dielectric layer or dielectric substrate. If the dielectric layer is provided on the stamp side of the electronic component, the dielectric layer can serve as an encapsulation and environmental protection layer that also provides addition mechanical support to the electronic component. The dielectric layer can be a substrate on which other elements of the component are formed and can be transparent so that light emitted by the LED component can pass through the dielectric layer. The LED component can emit light in the direction of the connection posts or in an opposite direction.

In another embodiment, the printable electronic component includes one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side. Each additional connection post is electrically connected with an electrical conductor to either a connection post or an additional connection post.

The printable electronic component can include a plurality of electronic devices with device electrical contacts connected to electrical conductors. For example, the electronic component can include one or more integrated circuits, light-emitting diodes, light-emitting diode lasers, light-sensing diodes or transistors, opto-electronic devices, an acoustic wave device, transistors, capacitors, resistors, inductors, and antennas or electrically conductive wires to electrically connect electronic devices. The printable electronic component can also include electronic devices such as control circuitry or an integrated circuit controller chiplet electrically connected to the connection posts and the device electrical contacts. The integrated circuit controller chiplet can control other electronic devices such as one or more LEDs.

A printable electronic component, for example including light-emitting electronic devices such as LEDs or LED lasers, can be provided on a display substrate having a plurality of contact pads. Contact pads are electrical conductors designed for making electrical contacts to an external electrical device such as the printable electronic component and can be a designated portion of an electrical conductor or a special structure electrically connected to an electrical conductor. Each connection post of the printable electronic components can be in electrical contact with a contact pad or electrical conductor on the display substrate so that the post side is adjacent to the display substrate.

An LED display can include a display substrate with an array of row conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the row conductors extending in a row direction. The display substrate also includes an array of column conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the column conductors electrically isolated from the row conductors and extending in a column direction different from the row direction to form an array of intersections. In an embodiment, the row and column conductors are formed at least partially in different electrically isolated layers. Each printable electronic component of a plurality of printable electronic components has at least a row connection post and a column connection post. The row connection post of each of the printable electronic components is in electrical contact with a row conductor and the column connection post of each of the printable electronic components is in electrical contact with a column conductor to provide a micro-transfer printable electronic component electrically connected between the row and column conductors of each intersection of the array of intersections.

In an alternative embodiment, the row conductors are formed in row segments between the column conductors in the same layer on the display substrate as the column conductors. A jumper electrically connects the row segments in a common row on opposite sides of a column conductor. The jumper has two or more electrically connected electrically conductive connection posts and a connection post is electrically connected to a row segment on each side of the column conductor to electrically connect the two row segments in the common row. In an embodiment, the row conductors include a portion that is substantially parallel to the column conductor, the portion providing space for another printable electronic component electrically connected between the row and column conductors.

In an alternative or additional embodiment, the connection posts are first connection posts and the printable electronic components comprise one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the post side. Each additional connection post is electrically connected with an electrical conductor to a first connection post or to an additional connection post. Each printable electronic component electrically connects the row segments in a common row on each side of a column conductor with a first connection post and an additional connection post or with two additional connection posts to electrically connect the two row segments in the common row. In an embodiment, the printable electronic components include two or more first connection posts and an additional connection post electrically connected to one of the two first connection posts.

A method of making an LED display includes providing a display substrate having an array of row conductors and an array of column conductors formed on or over the display substrate. The column conductors are electrically isolated from the row conductors and extend in a column direction different from the direction in which the row conductors extend. A plurality of printable electronic LED components is provided. The one or more electrically conductive connection posts of each printable electronic LED component includes a row connection post and a column connection post. A plurality of printable electronic LED components from a printable electronic LED component wafer are micro-transfer printed to the display substrate, so that each row conductor is at least indirectly connected to each column conductor with one printable electronic LED component, for example through an LED or controller chiplet. The row connection post of the one printable electronic component is electrically connected to the row conductor and the column connection post of the one printable electronic LED component is electrically connected to the column conductor.

In an embodiment, the connection posts are first connection posts and the method includes providing each of the printable electronic components with one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side and electrically connecting each additional connection post to a first connection post or to an additional connection post with an electrical conductor. The row conductors are formed in row segments between the column conductors in the same layer on the display substrate as the column conductors. The plurality of printable electronic components is micro-transfer printed to electrically connect the row segments in common rows on each side of a column conductor with a first connection post and an additional connection post or with two additional connection posts of a printable electronic component to electrically connect the two row segments in the common row.

A printable electronic component wafer includes a wafer comprising a wafer material, a patterned sacrificial layer forming sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer, and a plurality of printable electronic components. Each printable electronic component is formed or disposed entirely over a sacrificial portion and connected to an anchor by a tether. The sacrificial portions can comprise an etchable material other than the wafer material, the sacrificial portions can comprise an anisotropically etchable portion of the wafer material, or the sacrificial portions can comprise a gap between the printable electronic component and the wafer material.

A method of making a printable electronic component wafer includes providing a wafer comprising a wafer material, forming a patterned sacrificial layer having sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer, and providing a plurality of electronic devices, where each electronic device is disposed entirely over a sacrificial portion. In an embodiment, the electronic devices are micro-transfer printed on or over the sacrificial portions and the electronic devices can include a fractured or separated tether. In another embodiment, the electronic devices are formed on or over the sacrificial portions. One or more connection post forms can be made in each sacrificial portion and electrodes can be formed in the connection post forms to make one or more connection posts and electrically connected to the electronic devices. The sacrificial portions can be etched to form a tether connecting the electronic component to the anchor and form a gap between the electronic component and the wafer material. Thus, each electronic component is disposed entirely over a sacrificial portion.

Because the electronic components can be made using integrated circuit photolithographic techniques having a relatively high resolution and cost and the destination substrate, for example a printed circuit board, can be made using printed circuit board techniques having a relatively low resolution and cost, the contact pads on the destination substrate can be much larger than the connection posts or electrical contacts on the electronic component, facilitating the use of multiple connection posts with a common contact pads, reducing electrical faults, and reducing manufacturing costs.

In certain embodiments, the two or more adjacent connection posts comprise a first and a second connection post of different heights. In certain embodiments, the distance between two or more connection posts is less than a width or length of the electrically conductive contact pad in a direction parallel to the destination substrate. In certain embodiments, the connection posts are disposed in groups, the connection posts within a group are electrically connected to a common destination substrate contact pad and the connection posts in different groups are electrically connected to different contact pads. In certain embodiments, the connection posts are disposed in groups and a spacing between adjacent connection posts within a given group is less than a spacing between adjacent groups. In certain embodiments, the connection posts within a group are electrically shorted together. In certain embodiments, each of the two or more connection posts is a multi-layer connection post. In certain embodiments, the contact pads comprise a material that is the same material as a material included in the connection post.

In certain embodiments, the printable electronic component or electronic device has at least one of a width, length, and height from 2 to 5 μm, 5 to 10 μm, 10 to 20 μm, or 20 to 50 μm. In certain embodiments, the destination substrate is a member selected from the group consisting of polymer, plastic, resin, polyimide, PEN, PET, metal, metal foil, glass, a semiconductor, and sapphire. In certain embodiments, the destination substrate has a thickness from 5 to 10 microns, 10 to 50 microns, 50 to 100 microns, 100 to 200 microns, 200 to 500 microns, 500 microns to 0.5 mm, 0.5 to 1 mm, 1 mm to 5 mm, 5 mm to 10 mm, or 10 mm to 20 mm.

In certain embodiments, the two or more contact pads comprise a material that is softer than that of the connection post. In certain embodiments, the connection posts comprise a material that is softer than that of the two or more contact pads. In certain embodiments, a conductive material other than a material of the contact pad or the connection post (or both) adheres or electrically connects the contact pad to the connection post. In certain embodiments, the contact pad has a first conductive layer and a second conductive layer over the first conductive layer, and the second conductive layer has a lower melting temperature than the first conductive layer. The backplane contact pad can be coated with a non-conductive layer, or the backplane contact pad can be formed on a compliant non-conductive layer. In certain embodiments, the second conductive layer is a solder. In certain embodiments, the contact pad is welded to the connection post. In certain embodiments, the contact pads are non-planar and the connection posts are inserted into the contact pads.

In another aspect, the disclosed technology includes a method of making a printable electronic component, including: providing a forming substrate having two or more forms in a surface of the substrate; disposing a patterned layer of conductive material at least in the forms to make connection posts; disposing a first dielectric layer over the patterned layer of conductive material and the forming substrate; disposing or forming one or more electronic devices having device electrical contacts on the first dielectric layer; forming electrical conductors electrically connecting the connection posts to the device electrical contacts; and defining the printable electronic component, for example by etching, to form a release layer and anchors in the forming substrate connected by tethers to the printable electronic component.

In certain embodiments, the method includes providing a destination substrate having two or more contact pads and micro transfer printing the printable electronic component to the destination substrate so that each connection post is in contact with, extends into, or extends through a backplane contact pad of the destination substrate to electrically connect the contact pads to the connection posts and the device electrical contacts.

In certain embodiments, the method includes disposing a patterned second dielectric layer over the first dielectric layer, the conductors, and the printable electronic component.

In another aspect, the disclosed technology includes a printable electronic component, including: a first dielectric layer having connection posts protruding from the dielectric layer; electronic devices optionally having a semiconductor substrate and device electrical contacts, the electronic devices disposed or formed on the first dielectric layer; and electrical conductors electrically connecting the connection posts to the device electrical contacts.

The present invention provides structures and methods that enable the construction of light-emitting components that are transfer printed on a destination substrate. The electrical interconnection process is simple and inexpensive requiring fewer process steps than known alternative methods.

In one aspect, the disclosed technology includes a micro-transfer printable electronic component, including: a dielectric layer; a plurality of electronic devices disposed in contact with the dielectric layer, each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts for providing electrical power to the electronic device, the electronic device having a post side and an opposing stamp side; a plurality of electrical conductors, at least one electrical conductor electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts; and one or more electrically conductive connection posts that protrude from the dielectric layer in a direction opposite to the stamp side, each connection post electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors.

In certain embodiments, the dielectric layer is on or adjacent to the post side, wherein the dielectric layer is on or adjacent to the stamp side, or comprising one or more dielectric layers that are on both the stamp side and the post side.

In certain embodiments, the dielectric layer is transparent, the electronic devices include one or more LEDs, and the LEDs emit light through the transparent dielectric layer.

In certain embodiments, the electronic devices include one or more LEDs and the LEDs emit light in a direction opposite the transparent dielectric layer.

In certain embodiments, the device electrical contacts are on a common side of the electronic device.

In certain embodiments, the common side is the post side.

In certain embodiments, the common side is the stamp side.

In certain embodiments, the electronic devices include one or more LEDs and the LEDs emit light through the post side.

In certain embodiments, the electronic devices include one or more LEDs and the LEDs emit light through the stamp side.

In certain embodiments, the connection posts are first connection posts and comprising one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the post side, each additional connection post electrically connected with an electrical conductor to a first connection post or an additional connection post.

In certain embodiments, the micro-transfer printable electronic component includes a tether or a fractured, broken, or separated tether, or wherein one or more of the electronic devices includes a fractured, broken, or separated tether.

In certain embodiments, the electronic devices include a circuit controller electrically connected to at least one connection post and to at least one device electrical contact.

In certain embodiments, the micro-transfer printable electronic component includes a display substrate having a plurality of contact pads or electrical conductors, wherein at least one connection post is in electrical contact with at least one contact pad or at least one electrical conductor.

In certain embodiments, the micro-transfer printable electronic component includes an adhesive that adheres the printable electronic component to the display substrate.

In certain embodiments, the adhesive includes an electrically conductive solder.

In certain embodiments, the electronic devices are one or more of an integrated circuit, an opto-electronic device, an acoustic wave device, transistors, capacitors, resistors, inductors, photo-diodes, photo-transistors, light-emitting diodes, and antennas.

In certain embodiments, one or more of the electronic devices is a passive circuit providing an electrical connection between two or more of the electrically conductive connection posts.

In certain embodiments, the one or more of the electronic devices is an active circuit including one or more transistors, diodes, or light-emitting diodes.

In certain embodiments, the electronic component is an LED component having one or more LED electronic devices and an optional circuit controller and the device electrical contacts include LED electrical contacts.

In certain embodiments, the connection posts comprise an electrically conductive layer formed over a core of a different material.

In certain embodiments, the core material is one or more of a dielectric, silicon dioxide, and silicon nitride.

In certain embodiments, the connection posts extend or electrically contact an electrical conductor through a via in a dielectric layer.

In certain embodiments, the electronic component is unpackaged and the electronic devices include one or more bare dies.

In certain embodiments, the electronic device has at least one of a width, length, and height from 2 to 5 μm, 5 to 10 μm, 10 to 20 μm, 20 to 50 μm, 50 to 100 μm, 100 to 250 μm, and 250 to 500 μm.

In certain embodiments, an LED display includes a display substrate; an array of row conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the row conductors extending in a row direction; an array of column conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the column conductors electrically isolated from the row conductors and extending in a column direction different from the row direction, the rows and column conductors formed at least partially in different electrically isolated layers; and a plurality of the micro-transfer printable electronic components, wherein the printable electronic components are micro-transfer printable LED components having one or more LED electronic devices and an optional circuit controller, each micro-transfer printable LED component having at least a row connection post and a column connection post, wherein the row connection post of each of the printable LED components is in electrical contact with a row conductor and the column connection post of each of the printable LED components is in electrical contact with a column conductor to provide a printable LED component electrically connected between each row and column conductor of the arrays of row and column conductors.

In certain embodiments, the row conductors are formed in row segments between the column conductors in the same layer on the display substrate as the column conductors and comprising a jumper electrically connecting the row segments in a common row on opposite sides of a column conductor, the jumper having two or more electrically connected electrically conductive jumper connection posts, and a jumper connection post electrically connected to a row segment on each side of the column conductor to electrically connect the two row segments in the common row.

In certain embodiments, the row conductors are formed in row segments between the column conductors in the same layer on the display substrate as the column conductors; the connection posts are first connection posts; wherein the printable LED components comprise one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the post side, each additional connection post electrically connected with an electrical conductor to a first connection post or to an additional connection post; and each printable LED component electrically connects the row segments of a common row conductor on each side of a column conductor with a first connection post and an additional connection post or with two additional connection posts to electrically connect the two row segments of the common row conductor.

In certain embodiments, the printable LED components include two first connection posts and an additional connection post electrically connected to one of the two first connection posts.

In certain embodiments, the row conductors include a portion that is substantially parallel to the column conductor, the portion providing a space for another printable LED component electrically connected between the row and column conductors.

In another aspect, the disclosed technology includes a method of making an LED display, including: providing a display substrate having an array of row conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the row conductors extending in a row direction, an array of column conductors formed on or over the display substrate, the column conductors electrically isolated from the row conductors and extending in a column direction different from the row direction; providing a printable electronic component wafer having a plurality of the micro-transfer printable electronic components described above, wherein the printable electronic components are micro-transfer printable LED components having one or more LED electronic devices and an optional circuit controller, and the one or more electrically conductive connection posts of each printable LED component includes a row connection post and a column connection post; micro-transfer printing a plurality of micro-transfer printable LED components from the printable electronic component wafer to the display substrate, so that each row conductor is connected to each column conductor with one micro-transfer printable LED component, the row connection post electrically connected to the row conductor and the column connection post electrically connected to the column conductor of the one micro-transfer printable LED component.

In certain embodiments, the connection posts are first connection posts; providing one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts that protrude beyond the post side of each of the printable LED components comprises: electrically connecting each additional connection post with an electrical conductor to a first connection post or to an additional connection post; forming the row conductors in row segments between the column conductors in the same layer on the display substrate as the column conductors; and micro-transfer printing the plurality of micro-transfer printable LED components to electrically connect the row segments of common row conductors on each side of a column conductor with a first connection post and an additional connection post or with two additional connection posts of a micro-transfer printable LED component to electrically connect the two row segments of the common row conductor.

In another aspect, the disclosed technology includes a micro-transfer printable electronic component wafer, including: a wafer comprising a wafer material; a patterned sacrificial layer forming sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer; a plurality of the micro-transfer printable electronic components described above, each micro-transfer printable electronic component formed entirely over a sacrificial portion and connected to an anchor by a tether.

In certain embodiments, the sacrificial portions comprise an etchable material other than the wafer material, the sacrificial portions comprise an anisotropically etchable portion of the wafer material, or the sacrificial portions comprise a gap between the printable electronic component and the wafer material.

In another aspect, the disclosed technology includes a method of making a micro-transfer printable electronic component wafer, comprising: providing a wafer comprising a wafer material; forming a patterned sacrificial layer having sacrificial portions spaced apart by anchor portions formed on or in the wafer; providing a plurality of the electronic components described above, each electronic component disposed entirely over a sacrificial portion.

In certain embodiments, the method includes micro-transfer printing one or more electronic devices on or over the sacrificial portions.

In certain embodiments, the method includes making one or more connection post forms in each sacrificial portion.

In certain embodiments, the method includes forming electrodes in the connection post forms to make one or more connection posts, the electrodes electrically connected to the electronic device.

In certain embodiments, the method includes etching the sacrificial portions to form a tether connecting the electronic component to the anchor and forming a gap between the electronic component and the wafer material.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing and other objects, aspects, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will become more apparent and better understood by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1-5 are cross sections of alternative embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of another embodiment of the present invention having an additional connection post;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a display substrate according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a display according to an embodiment of the present invention using the display substrate of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a plan view of another embodiment of the present invention having an additional connection post and a plurality of LEDs;

FIG. 10 is a plan view of a display substrate according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a plan view of a display according to an embodiment of the present invention using the display substrate of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a plan view of a display substrate according to an embodiment of the present invention having space for redundant printable electronic components;

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a display substrate according to an embodiment of the present invention having redundant printable electronic components;

FIGS. 14-15 are flow charts illustrating methods of the present invention;

FIGS. 16A-16G are cross sections of sequential structures useful in constructing embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a micro-graph of connection posts in a jumper according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 18 and 19 are cross sections of alternative embodiments of the present invention with a display substrate;

FIG. 20 is two perspective micrographs of a printable LED component according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 21 is a perspective micrograph of a printable LED component wafer according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 22 is a perspective of an electronic component according to an embodiment of the present invention having a controller and three LEDs; and

FIG. 23 is a layout schematic of the structure of FIG. 22.

The features and advantages of the present disclosure will become more apparent from the detailed description set forth below when taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which like reference characters identify corresponding elements throughout. In the drawings, like reference numbers generally indicate identical, functionally similar, and/or structurally similar elements. The figures are not drawn to scale since the variation in size of various elements in the Figures is too great to permit depiction to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides structures and methods for electrically connecting relatively small electronic devices such as integrated circuit chiplets or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to a relatively large destination substrate in an efficient and cost-effective way and with fewer processing steps. Each micro-transfer printable electronic component can include a single integrated circuit, for example a digital circuit, an LED, a photo-diode, or a photo-transistor. Alternatively, the micro-transfer printable electronic component can include a circuit having multiple integrated circuits or other electronic or opto-electronic elements as well as electrically conductive wires interconnecting the multiple electronic elements to form a circuit on a component substrate. An electronic component can receive or provide electronic signals, but can also include electronic devices that have other modalities, such as optical elements, magnetic elements, electrical field elements, emission elements, or sensing elements. For clarity and simplicity, the Figures illustrate an LED as an electronic device of the electronic component, but the invention is not limited to an LED embodiment and, generally, the LED in the Figures represent any electronic device.

Referring to the cross sections of FIGS. 1 and 2, in an embodiment of the present invention, a printable electronic component 10 includes a plurality electronic devices (LEDs) 20 disposed in contact with a dielectric layer (26 in FIG. 1, 24 in FIG. 2), each electronic device having an individual substrate and device electrical contacts 22 for providing electrical power to the electronic device 20. The electronic device 20 has a post side 21 that can be a surface and an opposing stamp side 23 that can also be a surface. A plurality of electrical conductors 30 (electrodes) are included in the printable electronic component 10 and at least one electrical conductor 30 is electrically connected to each of the device electrical contacts 22.

One or more electrically conductive connection posts 40 protrude from the dielectric layer 26 or 24 (FIGS. 1, 2) in a direction opposite to the stamp side 23 of the electronic device 20 (i.e., in the direction of the post side 21). Each connection post 40 is electrically connected to at least one of the electrical conductors 30. Each connection post 40 can be an electrical conductor 30 or can include an electrical conductor 30. In another arrangement, the electrical conductor 30 includes the connection post 40 or is electrically connected to the connection post 40. In an embodiment, each device electrical contact 22 is electrically connected to a connection post 40. An adhesive 64 can adhere the printable LED component 10 to a destination substrate 60 and the connection posts 40 can be in physical and electrical contact with contact pads 62 on the destination substrate 60. The adhesive 64 can be deposited in drops, for example as shown in FIG. 1, with an inkjet deposition device or as a layer over the destination substrate 60 (FIG. 18).

In various embodiments, an electronic device 20 is an inorganic micro-light-emitting diode (LED) 20 including semiconductor or compound semiconductor LED material such as GaN and can emit any of a variety of different colored lights. The semiconductor or compound semiconductor LED material can be crystalline or partially crystalline. An LED 20 can include multiple layers of different materials, for example conductive layers, emission layers, doped layers, or undoped layers that enable the LED 20 to emit light when provided with electrical power through the device electrical contacts 22. The LED 20 can be made using integrated circuit processes, tools, and materials. In other embodiments, the electronic device 20 is a CMOS integrated circuit made in a silicon semiconductor or is a circuit comprising multiple integrated circuits or electronic elements and can include conductive wires electrically connecting the electronic elements.

The device electrical contacts 22 can be designated portions of the electronic device material or can be electrical contact pads in contact with designated portions of the electronic device material. For example, the device electrical contacts 22 can be a metal, such as aluminum, silver, gold, tantalum, tungsten, titanium, or tin, or a metal alloy. The device electrical contacts 22 can be located on a common side of the electronic device 20 and light 70 can be emitted from a light-emitting electronic device (e.g., LED) 20 in a direction opposite the common side on which the device electrical contacts 22 are formed, as shown in FIG. 1. In an embodiment, the common side on which the device electrical contacts 22 are located is the stamp side 23 opposite the post side 21, as shown in FIG. 1, and in another embodiment the common side on which the device electrical contacts 22 are located is the post side 21 (not shown). The stamp side 23 is adapted for adhesion to a stamp, such as a PDMS stamp, or a stamp pillar, and can be contacted by the stamp to micro-transfer print the electronic component 10. In an embodiment, the electrical device 20 includes a bare die and the stamp side 23 of the electronic component 10 is exposed to the environment and is not enclosed in a package. In contrast, most integrated circuits are packaged in plastic or ceramic containers and the IC die is not exposed to the environment. As shown in FIG. 1, the electronic component 10 is unpackaged and exposed to the environment, since the encapsulation layer 26 is a part of the electronic component 10, and the electronic device 20 is a bare die and is also not packaged. The device electrical contacts 22 can be formed using photolithographic methods known in the integrated circuit arts. The electrical contacts 22 can be electrically connected to a power source to provide electrical power to the LED 20 to cause the LED 20 to emit light 70.

The electrical conductors 30 can be a metal, such as aluminum, silver, gold, tantalum, tungsten, titanium, or tin, or a metal alloy and can be patterned to form electrodes or electrical traces that conduct electricity to the device electrical contacts 22. The electrical conductors 30 can be deposited and patterned using photolithographic methods known in the integrated circuit arts, for example, using sputtering or evaporation with patterned etching. Patterned dielectric structures 24 can be formed before the electrical conductors 30 are deposited and patterned to electrically insulate portions of the electronic device 20 and control the flow of electrical current through the electronic device 20. The patterned dielectric structures 24 can be, for example, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, or other insulators that can be patterned using photolithographic methods.

The electrically conductive connection posts 40 that protrude from the dielectric layer 28, 26 can be, but are not necessarily, the same material and can be, but are not necessarily, made in a common step with the electrical conductors 30. The electrically conductive connection posts 40 can be a spike with a sharp point. In one embodiment, the connection posts 40 are a portion of the electrical conductors 30. The connection posts 40 protrude and extend beyond the dielectric layer 24, 26 of the electronic device 20, for example, in a direction orthogonal to a surface of the post side 21 and away from the stamp side 23, so that if the printable electronic component 10 is pressed against a surface, such as a destination substrate 60, with the post side 21 adjacent to the destination substrate 60, the connection posts 40 will contact the surface of the destination substrate 60 before the electronic device 20. If the printable electronic component 10 is forcefully pressed against the surface, the connection posts 40 can be in contact with, embedded in, or pierce the surface. For example, if the surface includes electrical contact pads 62 on the destination substrate 60 (or other substrate), the connection posts 40 can form a mechanically robust electrical connection between the electrical conductors 30 and the destination substrate electrical contact pads 62.

The electrical conductors 30 can provide rigidity and mechanical strength to the printable electronic component 10 so that the printable electronic component 10 can be micro-transfer printed and the connection posts 40 pressed into an electrical contact pad 62 on a destination substrate 60 to form a robust electrical connection without harming the electronic device 20 or the electrical conductors 30 or causing them to cease proper function. In a further embodiment, the encapsulation layer 26 provides environmental protection and additional mechanical strength to the printable electronic component 10 as well as forming a core structure for the connection posts 40. The encapsulation layer 26 can be a dielectric layer and can be formed using dielectric materials (for example, silicon nitride or silicon dioxide) that are coated over the printable electronic component 10 and then patterned using photolithographic processes, such as using a photosensitive layer (e.g., photoresist) to form a patterned mask after light exposure and then etching the photosensitive layer and one or more layers beneath the photosensitive layer. Similar methods can be used to pattern the dielectric structure 24 and electrical conductors 30.

Referring to FIG. 2 in another embodiment of the present invention, a dielectric layer 28 is disposed on, disposed under, or provided adjacent to the post side 21, as shown, and a via made in the dielectric layer 28 to enable the formation of the connection post 40. The dielectric layer 28 can be a silicon dioxide or silicon nitride layer and can act as a component substrate 13 on which electronic devices 20 can be disposed. Alternatively or in addition, an encapsulation layer 26 is formed on a side of the electronic device 20 opposite the post side 21 or on or adjacent to the electrical conductors 30, as in FIG. 1, or any combination of these. The dielectric layer 24 or encapsulation layer 26 can form a core for the connection posts 40, for example a dielectric core. The dielectric layer 28, the dielectric structure 24, and the encapsulation layer 26 can provide additional rigidity and mechanical strength to the printable electronic component 10 and connection posts 40 and can electrically insulate elements in contact with the dielectric layer 28, for example the electronic device 20 or the electrical conductors 30, as shown. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the connection post 40 protrudes through the dielectric layer 28. In this embodiment, therefore, the connection posts 40 comprise an electrically conductive layer (e.g., a metal layer) formed over a core of a different material (e.g., a dielectric material) that protrudes through a via in the dielectric layer 28.

In the alternative structure of FIG. 19, the dielectric layer 28 extends over the connection post 40 except for a via 44 formed in the dielectric layer 28 and the connection post 40 is electrically connected to the electrical conductor 30 through the via 44. This structure can be constructed by forming the connection posts 44 as described below, coating the dielectric layer 28 over the connection posts 40 and sacrificial layer 52, forming the vias 44 using photolithographic processes, and then forming the electrodes 30, also using photolithographic patterning processes. The electrodes 30 extend through the via 44 to contact the connection post 40. Thus, the connection posts 40 electrically contact an electrical conductor 30 through a via 44 in a dielectric layer 28. In this embodiment, although the connection posts 40 are not formed in a common layer or surface with the post side 21, they do protrude from the dielectric layer 24 in a direction opposite the stamp side and beyond the post side 21 and have a dielectric core providing mechanical robustness to the connection post 40.

FIG. 20 shows two micrographs of a printable electronic component 10 having an LED electronic device 20 constructed using the materials and methods described herein and corresponding to the illustration of FIG. 19. The printable electronic component 10 has 6 connection posts 40, two for each electrode located at either end of the printable electronic component 10. The two center posts 41 are not electrically connected to the electronic device 20 and serve to enhance adhesion to the optional layer of adhesive 64. The printable electronic component 10 of FIG. 20 has been micro-transfer printed successfully to a substrate and successfully tested, demonstrating light emission when provided with electrical power.

Thus, in an embodiment of the present invention, a micro-transfer printable component 10 comprises a circuit having a plurality of electronic devices 20 formed in or on a layer (e.g., encapsulation layer 26, dielectric layer 28) having a post side 21. A plurality of electrically conductive connection posts 40 protrude from the dielectric layer 26, 28. Each electrically conductive connection post 40 is electrically connected to the circuit. One or more isolated posts 41 protrude from the post side 21 of the layer. Each isolated connection post is electrically isolated from the circuit. The circuit can be a passive circuit providing an electrical connection between two or more of the electrically conductive connection posts 40. Alternatively, the circuit is an active circuit including one or more electronic devices 20 such as transistors, diodes, or light-emitting diodes.

The dielectric layer 28 can be substantially transparent to the light 70 emitted by the light-emitting electronic device (LED) 20 and the LED 20 can emit light 70 through the dielectric layer 28. In an embodiment, the LED 20 emits light 70 in the direction that the connection posts 40 protrude. In another embodiment, the LED 20 emits light 70 in a direction opposite the dielectric layer 28 or opposite the direction that the connection posts 40 protrude. By substantially transparent is meant that sufficient light 70 is transmitted to enable adequate function.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the connection posts 40 of the printable electronic component 10 are in electrical contact with electrically conductive contact pads 62 on a destination substrate 60. The contact pads 62 can be electrical conductors, or portions of electrical conductors such as wires, traces or other electrically conductive elements on the destination substrate 60. The contact pads 62 can be metal, for example aluminum, silver, tin, or copper, or a metal alloy. Thus, the contact pads 62 are in electrical contact with the electronic devices 20 and the electronic devices 20 can be controlled by a controller on the destination substrate 60 that is electrically connected to the contact pads 62. The destination substrate 60 can be a display substrate, can be a printed circuit board, or can be made of glass, polymer, metal, resin, or ceramic. In an embodiment, the destination substrate 60 is substantially transparent and light 70 emitted from the LEDs 20 is transmitted through the transparent destination substrate 60.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the post side 21 is also the side through which light 70 is emitted and the side of the LED 20 adjacent to the destination substrate 60. In this embodiment, the device electrical contacts 22 are on a side of the LED 20 opposite the post side 21 and the destination substrate 60. However, other arrangements are possible in other embodiments of the present invention. For example, referring to FIG. 3, in an alternative embodiment of the present invention, the light 70 is emitted from the LED 20 in a direction opposite to the post side 21 and opposite to the destination substrate 60 and the device electrical contacts 22 of the LED 20. In this arrangement, it is not necessary that the destination substrate 60 be transparent. However, in this case a substantially planar transparent dielectric layer 28 can serve as a component substrate 13 on which the LED 20 is disposed and is arranged on a side of the LED 20 opposite the device electrical contacts 22. The electrical conductors 30 are disposed at least in part on the dielectric layer 28.

FIGS. 1-3 also illustrates the use of an adhesive 64 that adheres the printable electronic component 10 to the destination substrate 60. The adhesive 64 can be deposited in drops, for example, with an inkjet deposition device or as a layer over the destination substrate 60, and can underfill the volume between the electronic device 20 and the destination substrate 60. The adhesive 64 can also be used and emitted light 70 can pass through the adhesive 64, if present, in the configurations of FIGS. 1 and 2 (not shown). In another embodiment, the adhesive 64 is provided on the contact pads 62 on the destination substrate 60 or is a solder that reflows when exposed to heat to provide electrical conduction and adhesion.

Referring to FIG. 4, in another embodiment the light 70 is emitted from the LED 20 through the post side 21 and the destination substrate 60 and on a side of the LED 20 opposite the device electrical contacts 22, as in FIGS. 1 and 2. In this case a substantially planar dielectric layer 28 can serve as a component substrate 13 on which the LED 20 is disposed. The dielectric layer 28 can have a thickness less than a thickness of the LED 20 (not shown) or greater than or equal to a thickness of the LED 20 (as shown). The device electrical contacts 22 can have different thicknesses to facilitate connecting the LED 20 to the electrical conductors 30, connection posts 40, and contact pads 62.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the light 70 is emitted through a side of the LED 20 opposite the post side 21, opposite the destination substrate 60, and opposite the device electrical contacts 22, as in FIG. 3. In this case, the substantially planar dielectric layer 28 on which the LED 20 is disposed is adjacent to the destination substrate 60 and opposite the emission side of the LED 20. As shown in this illustration, the dielectric layer 28 has a thickness less than a thickness of the LED 20. The device electrical contacts 22 can have different thicknesses to facilitate connecting the LED 20 to the electrical conductors 30, connection posts 40, and contact pads 62.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the printable electronic component 10 includes an integrated circuit controller chiplet electrically connected to at least one connection post 40 and at least one device electrical contact 22. The integrated circuit controller chiplet can control the LED 20 of the printable electronic component 10.

Referring to FIG. 6, in a further embodiment of the present invention, additional connection posts 40A are included in the printable electronic component 10 as well as the connection posts 40 electrically connected to the electronic devices 20 with the electrical conductors 30. As shown in FIG. 6, the connection posts 40 are first connection posts 40 and one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts 40A protrude beyond the post side 21 (not shown in the plan view of FIG. 6). Each additional connection post 40A is electrically connected with an electrical conductor 36 to a first connection post 40 or to an additional connection post 40A. The additional connection posts 40A can electrically connect other electrical conductors (e.g., row and column conductors 32, 34) and contact pads 62 on the destination substrate 60, as described below with respect to FIGS. 8 and 11. Although only one additional connection post 40A is illustrated, multiple additional connection posts 40A can be incorporated into a printable electronic component 10 of the present invention. In some embodiments, the additional connection posts 40A are electrically independent of the connection posts 40 and electronic device 20 on the printable electronic component 10, although the additional connection posts 40A and the connection posts 40 can be electrically connected through electrical connections on the destination substrate 60. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, one connection post 40 can be a row connection post 40R and another connection post 40 can be a column connection post 40C (as also indicated in FIG. 9 below).

Providing the printable electronic components 10 with additional connection posts 40A enables the electrical connection of electrical conductors (e.g., row and column conductors 32, 34) on the destination substrate 60 and therefore enables a simpler and less expensive manufacturing process for the destination substrates 60. For example, referring to FIG. 7, a destination substrate 60 is a display substrate 80 having a plurality of contact pads 62 (not shown) or electrical conductors (e.g., row and column conductors 32, 34) that provide signals to pixels in a display 82. An array of row conductors 32 extending in a row direction are formed on or over the display substrate 80. Similarly, an array of column conductors 34 extending in a column direction different from the row direction are formed on or over the display substrate 80 and are electrically isolated from the row conductors 32. The row and column conductors 32, 34 can be electrical traces or wire made of, for example, an electrically conductive metal such as aluminum, copper, silver, or tin, and can be made using printed circuit board or photolithographic techniques.

In one embodiment, the rows and column conductors 32, 34 are formed at least partially in different electrically isolated layers on the display substrate 80. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, in contrast, the row conductors 32 are formed in row segments between the column conductors 34 and in the same layer on the display substrate 80 as the column conductors 34. The row segments in a row conductor 32 are disposed in a common row. The display substrate structure of FIG. 7 can be made with a single metal layer, reducing process steps and material costs.

Referring to FIG. 8, the printable electronic components 10 of FIG. 6 are micro-transfer printed onto the display substrate 80 of FIG. 7 to form a display 82. As shown in FIG. 8, the LED 20 of the printable electronic component 10 is electrically connected between a row conductor 32 (having a row segment) and column conductor 34 through the connection posts 40. When power is applied between the row and column conductors 32, 34, for example with a passive-matrix display controller, the electronic device (LED) 20 can emit light 70. At the same time, the additional connection post 40A is connected to row segments of a common row conductor 32 on each side of a column conductor 34. The electrical conductor 36 connected to the additional connection post 40A and connection post 40 of the printable electronic component 10 thus forms an electrical jumper electrically connecting the row segments of a common row conductor 32 on opposite sides of a column conductor 34. The electrical jumper has two or more electrically connected electrically conductive jumper connection posts (e.g., an additional connection post 40A and a connection post 40 or another additional connection post 40A). The jumper connection posts of the plurality of printable electronic components 10 electrically connect the row segments of a common row conductor 32 on each side of the column conductors 34 to electrically connect the row segments of the common row conductor 32 and form an electrically continuous row conductor 32. FIG. 17 is a micro-graph of an electrical jumper having connection posts 40 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

In an alternative embodiment (not shown), the row conductors 32 are not formed of row segments in a common row but extend as a single electrical conductor across the display substrate 80 and have portions in display substrate layers separate from the column conductors 34 to avoid electrical shorts between the row and column conductors 32, 34. In this embodiment, the printable electronic component 10 does not include any additional connection posts 40A (for example as illustrated in FIG. 1). Contact pads 62 can be electrically connected through vias to conductors in the lower level (not shown).

Thus, according to an embodiment of the present invention, an LED display 82 includes a display substrate 80 with an array of row and column conductors 32, 34 formed on or over the display substrate 80 and a plurality of printable electronic components 10, each having row and column connection posts 40R, 40C. The row connection post 40R of each of the printable electronic components 10 is in electrical contact with a row conductor 32 and the column connection post 40C of each of the printable electronic components 10 is in electrical contact with a column conductor 34 to provide a printable electronic component 10 electrically connected between each row and column conductor 32, 34 of the arrays of row and column conductors 32, 34. The electronic devices (LEDs) 20 of the printable electronic components 10 form an array of light emitters in a display 82.

In a further embodiment of the present invention, referring to FIG. 9, the printable electronic component 10 includes a plurality of electronic devices (LEDs) 20 (e.g., red LED 20R emitting red light, green LED 20G emitting green light, and blue LED 20B emitting blue light, collectively LEDs 20). Each LED 20 has device electrical contacts 22 for providing electrical power to the LED 20 and a post side 21 (not shown). The printable electronic component 10 can be a full-color pixel in a display 82. Each LED 20 of the plurality of LEDs 20 has a common post side 21 (not shown) and each device electrical contact 22 is electrically connected to an electrical conductor 30. Each printable electronic component 10 has at least a row connection post 40R and a column connection post 40C. A connection post 40 can be common to two or more LEDs 20 and electrically connected to a common electrical conductor 30. In the embodiment of FIG. 9, a row connection post 40R is in common for each LED 20 and each LED 20 has a separate column connection post 40C. The row and column connection posts 40R, 40C can be connected directly to the LEDs 20 (as shown), for example in a display 82 with a passive-matrix display controller.

Referring next to FIG. 10, the destination substrate 60 of FIG. 7 includes a plurality of column conductors 34 (34R, 34G, 34B, collectively column conductors 34) providing signals for each of the different LEDs 20 in a printable electronic component 10, for example red, green, and blue LEDs 20R, 20G, 20B. Each of the red LEDs 20R is controlled by signals on a red column conductor 34R, each of the green LEDs 20G is controlled by signals on a green column conductor 34G, and each of the blue LEDs 20B is controlled by signals on a blue column conductor 34B.

As shown in FIG. 11, the printable electronic components 10 of FIG. 9 are micro-transfer printed onto the display substrate 80 of FIG. 10 to form a display 82. As shown in FIG. 11, each of the red, green, and blue LEDs 20R, 20G, 20B of the printable electronic component 10 is electrically connected between a row conductor 32 (having a row segment) and the red, green, and blue column conductors 34R, 34G, 34B through the row and column connection posts 40R, 40C. When power is applied between the row conductor 32 and any one or all of the red, green, or blue column conductors 34R, 34G, 34B, for example with a passive-matrix display controller, the corresponding red, green, or blue LEDs 20R, 20G, 20B can emit light 70. At the same time, the additional connection post 40A is connected to row segments of a common row conductor 32 on each side of the red, green, and blue column conductors 34R, 34G, 34B. The electrical conductor 36 connected to the additional connection post 40A and connection post 40 of the printable electronic component 10 thus forms an electrical jumper electrically connecting the row segments in a row of a common row conductor 32 on opposite sides of the column conductors 34. The electrical jumper has two or more electrically connected electrically conductive jumper connection posts (e.g., an additional connection post 40A and a connection post 40 or another additional connection post 40A).

In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 22, an integrated circuit controller 20C is included in the printable electronic component 10 and is connected to the LEDs 20 with conductive wires 36, all provided on a component substrate 13 that can be, for example, the dielectric layer 28. The row and column connection posts 40R, 40C can be connected to the integrated circuit controller or to the LEDs 20, as required for a desired circuit design. A digital control circuit for red, green, and blue LEDs in a single micro-transfer printable electronic component 10 has been laid out. Thus, this electronic component 10 design has four electronic devices 20 (the controller and three LEDs) as shown in the layout of FIG. 23.

Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, in another embodiment of the present invention, the row conductors 32 include a portion 33 that is substantially parallel to the column conductor 32, for example as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/040,810, whose entire contents are incorporated herein by reference. The parallel portion 33 provides a space for an additional printable electronic component 10A to be electrically connected between the row and column conductors 32, 34 in the eventuality that the printable electronic component 10 fails. This arrangement can also be used in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 11. Substantially parallel means that similar printable electronic components 10 can be successfully electrically connected in parallel between the parallel portion and the column conductor(s) 34.

In various embodiments, the printable electronic components 10 or electronic devices 20 have at least one of a width, length, and height from 2 to 5 μm, 5 to 10 μm, 10 to 20 μm, 20 to 50 μm, 50 to 100 μm, 100 to 250 μm, and 250 to 500 μm.

Referring to FIGS. 14 and 15, a method of the present invention includes providing a display substrate 80 in step 210 and forming an array of electrical conductors on the display substrate 80 in step 220. The electrical conductors include an array of row conductors 32 disposed or formed on or over the display substrate 80. The row conductors 32 extend in a row direction. The electrical conductors also include an array of column conductors 34 disposed or formed on or over the display substrate 80. The column conductors 34 are electrically isolated from the row conductors 32 and extend in a column direction different from the row direction. The display substrate 80 can be, for example, glass, resin, polymer, metal, or ceramic or include such materials. The row and column conductors 32, 34 can be metal wires or electrical traces made of, for example, electrically conductive metals such as copper, silver, gold, aluminum, or tin, or metal alloys. Such a display substrate 80 and electrical conductors can be made using printed circuit board techniques.

Referring also to FIGS. 16A-16G, a source printable electronic component wafer 12 is provided in step 100 (FIG. 16A). A plurality of printable electronic components 10 is provided in the printable electronic component wafer 12 by first patterning a sacrificial layer 52 in the wafer 50 in step 110 to form sacrificial portions 54 separated by anchor portions 58 (FIG. 16B) using photolithographic materials and methods. The wafer 10 can be a substrate such as a semiconductor, glass, polymer, metal, or ceramic wafer. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, if a dielectric layer 28 is desired, it is then deposited (not shown) and patterned to form vias exposing the desired location of the connection posts 40. Connection post forms 42 are etched into the sacrificial portions 54 in step 120, through the dielectric layer 28, if present. In the embodiment of FIG. 19, patterned metal is deposited in the connection post forms 42 to form the connection posts 40 and the dielectric layer 28 deposited and fills in the remaining volume of the connection post forms 42. The dielectric layer 28 can be a planarizing layer. In step 130 and as shown in FIG. 16D, an electronic device 20 is provided by forming or disposing an electronic device 20 on the sacrificial layer 52. The formation of connection posts is discussed in more detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/822,864, entitled Chiplets with Connection Posts by Prevatte et al., filed Aug. 10, 2015.

The electronic device 20 can be micro-transfer printed onto the sacrificial portion 54 and have a fractured or separated tether or formed in place and can include multiple layers such as conductive layers, p- or n-doped layers, undoped layers, or other semiconductor layers. Device electrical contacts 22 can also be formed on or in the electronic device 20. The order of steps 120 and 130 can be exchanged. Referring next to FIG. 16E and step 140, a patterned dielectric structure 24 is formed or otherwise disposed on the electronic device 20 to protect the electronic device 20 and, in the embodiment of FIG. 19, vias 44 are formed. Electrical conductors 30, such as electrodes, are formed in electrical contact with the device electrical contacts 22 over the sacrificial portion 54 and, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the connection post form 42 to form connection posts 40. The patterned dielectric structure 24 can be, for example, silicon dioxide and the electrical conductors 30 can be metal deposited and patterned using photolithographic materials and methods such as coating, sputtering, or evaporation, and etching with patterned photoresist. One or more electrically conductive connection posts 40 of each printable electronic component 10 includes a row connection post 40R and a column connection post 40C. As shown in the printable electronic component wafer 12 of FIG. 16F, an optional encapsulation layer 26 can be provided in step 150 over the electrical conductors 30. In an embodiment, the optional encapsulation layer 26 can fill in any remaining volume of the connection post form 42 over the metal of the connection post 40 to form a solid core for the connection post 40 (FIG. 1). In some embodiments, therefore, the connection posts 40 comprise an electrically conductive layer (e.g., metal layer) formed over a core of a different material (e.g., dielectric material of encapsulation layer 26—FIG. 1—or dielectric layer 28—FIGS. 2, 19).

The sacrificial portions 54 of the printable electronic component wafer 12 are etched in step 200 (FIG. 16G) to form a plurality of printable electronic components 10. The sacrificial portions 54 can be, for example, an oxide layer or a designated anisotropically etchable portion of the wafer 50. The plurality of printable electronic components 10 are micro-transfer printed in step 230 from the printable electronic component wafer 12 to the display substrate 80, so that each row conductor 32 is connected to each column conductor 34 with one printable electronic component 10. The row connection post 40R is electrically connected to the row conductor 32 and the column connection post 40C is electrically connected to the column conductor 34 of the one printable electronic component 10 to form a display 82 (FIGS. 8, 11 and 13). The process can be repeated with a plurality of printable electronic component source wafers 12 that each can be etched and their printable electronic components 10 micro-transfer printed onto the display substrate 80.

In a further method of the present invention, the connection posts 40 are first connection posts 40. The method includes providing one or more electrically conductive additional connection posts 40A that protrude beyond the post side 21 of each of the printable electronic components 10, electrically connecting each additional connection post 40A with an electrical conductor 36 to a first connection post 40 or to an additional connection post 40A, forming the row conductors 32 in row segments between the column conductors 34 in the same layer on the display substrate 80 as the column conductors 34, and micro-transfer printing the plurality of printable electronic components 10 to electrically connect the row segments of common row conductors 32 on each side of a column conductor 34 with a first connection post 40 and an additional connection post 40A or with two additional connection posts 40A of a printable electronic component 10 to electrically connect the two row segments of the common row conductor 32.

Thus, according to an embodiment of the present invention and as shown in FIGS. 16F and 16G and the perspective micrograph of FIG. 21, a printable electronic component wafer 12 includes a wafer 50 including wafer material, a patterned sacrificial layer 52 forming sacrificial portions 54 spaced apart by anchor portions 58 formed on or in the wafer 50. A printable electronic component 10 is disposed or formed entirely on or over each sacrificial portion 54 and connected to an anchor 58 by a tether 56. For example, the tether 56 can comprise material of the encapsulation layer 26, if present, or the dielectric layer 28, if present, such as silicon dioxide or silicon nitride. In an embodiment, the sacrificial portions 54 comprise an etchable material other than the wafer material 50 (as in FIG. 16F), the sacrificial portions 54 comprise an anisotropically etchable portion of the wafer material 50 (not shown), or the sacrificial portions 54 comprise a gap between the printable electronic component 10 and the wafer material 50 (as in FIG. 16G).

A method of making a printable electronic component wafer 12 includes providing a wafer 50 including wafer material (step 100), forming a patterned sacrificial layer 52 having sacrificial portions 54 spaced apart by anchor portions 58 formed on or in the wafer 50 (step 110), providing a plurality of electronic components 10, each electronic device 20 disposed entirely over a sacrificial portion 54 and connected to an anchor 58 by a tether 56 (step 130). In one embodiment, the electrical devices 20 are micro-transfer printed on or over the sacrificial portions 54; in another embodiment, the electrical devices 20 are formed on or over the sacrificial portions 54. Step 130 can be repeated by micro-transfer printing a plurality of electrical devices 20 onto each of the sacrificial portions 54. For example, red, green, and blue LEDs 20R, 20G, 20B can be micro-transfer printed from different wafers possibly made with different materials or crystalline structures onto the sacrificial portions 54 to make a structure such as that of FIG. 9. The printable electronic component wafer 12 can include a plurality of sacrificial portions 54 with a corresponding plurality of printable electronic components 12 that can be assembled in a single process step by micro-transfer printing a plurality of the red, green, and blue LEDs 20R, 20G, 20B in a common step onto corresponding sacrificial portions 54 so that each sacrificial portion 54 has one each of a red, green, and blue LED 20R, 20G, 20B.

In another embodiment, one or more connection post forms 42 are made in each sacrificial portion 54 (step 120) and electrical conductors 30 (electrodes) are formed in the connection post forms 42 and electrically connected to the LEDs 20 to make one or more connection posts 40 or additional connection posts 40A (step 140). As described above, in one method of the present invention, the sacrificial portions 54 are etched (step 200) to form a tether 56 connecting the electronic components 10 to the anchor 58 and forming a sacrificial portion 54 gap between the electronic components 10 and the wafer material 50.

The printable electronic component 10 can be an active component, for example including one or more active elements such as electronic transistors or diodes or light-emitting diodes and photodiodes that produce an electrical current in response to ambient light. The printable electronic component 10 can be or include a semiconductor device having one or more semiconductor layers, such as an integrated circuit or light-emitting diode. The printable electronic component 10 can be an unpackaged die. The printable electronic component 10 can include passive components, for example including one or more passive elements such as resistors, capacitors, or conductors. In another embodiment, the printable electronic component 10 includes both active and passive elements. In yet another embodiment, the printable electronic component 10 has a plurality of active or passive elements, such as multiple semiconductor devices with separate substrates, each with one or more active elements such as multiple LEDs 20 that each emit different colors of light, such as red, green, or blue light, or passive elements, or both. The printable electronic component 10 can itself be micro transfer printed from a source wafer 12 after the elements have been arranged thereon and released therefrom, and thus include a fractured or separated tether 56. The elements can include or be electronic processors, controllers, drivers, light-emitting diodes, photodiodes, light-control devices, or light-management devices.

The printable electronic components 10 can include active elements such as electronic circuits formed using lithographic processes and can include passive elements such as electrical connections, e.g., wires such as electrical conductors 30, 36, to the device electrical contacts 22 and connection posts 40 or additional connection posts 40A. The active or passive elements can be made in or disposed on the sacrificial portions 54 or layers formed over the sacrificial portions 54, for example by micro-transfer printing or photolithographic processes. In certain embodiments, the device electrical contacts 22 are planar electrical connections formed on a side of the printable electronic component 10 and the source wafer 12. Such device electrical contacts 22 are typically formed from metals such as aluminum or polysilicon using masking and deposition processes used in the art. In certain embodiments, the device electrical contacts 22 are electrically connected to the circuit with electrical conductors 30 such as wires. In some embodiments, device electrical contacts 22 and the circuit, together with other functional structures formed in the active layer on the source wafer 12 make up the printable electronic component 10.

The printable electronic components 10 made by methods of the present invention can include a variety of electronic devices 20 such as chiplets having semiconductor structures, a diode, a light-emitting diode (LED), a transistor, or a laser. Chiplets are small integrated circuits and can be unpackaged dies released from a source wafer and can be micro transfer printed. Likewise, the printable electronic components 10 can be unpackaged. An unpackaged electronic component 10 has electronic device(s) that are exposed to the environment (even if an encapsulating layer 26 is provided) and is not located within a separate packaging container, for example with wire bonds connected to electrically conductive pins extending from the package. Chiplets can have at least one of a width, length, and height from 2 to 5 μm, 5 to 10 μm, 10 to 20 μm, or 20 to 50 μm. Chiplets can have a doped or undoped semiconductor substrate thickness of 2 to 5 μm, 5 to 10 μm, 10 to 20 μm, or 20 to 50 μm. The chiplet or active elements can be micro-light-emitting diodes with a length greater than width, for example having an aspect ratio greater than or equal to 2, 4, 8, 10, 20, or 50 and device electrical contacts 22 that are adjacent to the ends of the printable semiconductor components along the length of the printable semiconductor components. This structure enables low-precision manufacturing processes to electrically connect wires to the device electrical contacts 22 without creating registration problems and possible unwanted electrical shorts or opens.

In some embodiments of the present invention, the printable electronic components 10 include small integrated circuits, for example chiplets, having a thin substrate with a thickness of only a few microns, for example less than or equal to 25 microns, less than or equal to 15 microns, or less than or equal to 10 microns, and a width or length of 5-10 microns, 10-50 microns, 50-100 microns, or 100-1000 microns. Such micro-transfer printable chiplets can be made in a semiconductor source wafer (e.g., a silicon or GaN wafer) having a process side and a back side used to handle and transport the wafer. The chiplets are formed using lithographic processes in an active layer on or in the process side of a source wafer. An empty release layer space (corresponding to sacrificial portion 54 in FIG. 16G) is formed beneath the micro-transfer printable chiplets with tethers 56 connecting the micro-transfer printable chiplets to the source wafer in such a way that pressure applied against the stamp side 23 of the micro-transfer printable chiplets with a transfer stamp breaks or fractures the tethers 56 to release the micro-transfer printable chiplets from the source wafer. In an alternative construction (not shown), the tether 56 is a post, for example located in the gap between the chiplet and the wafer, supporting the micro-transfer printable chiplet and the transfer processes disengages or separates the chiplet from the wafer. The chiplets are then micro-transfer printed to the printable electronic component 10. Lithographic processes in the integrated circuit art for forming micro-transfer printable chiplets in a source wafer, for example transistors, LEDS, wires, and capacitors, can be used. The same etching and transfer process can be used to micro-transfer print the assembled or constructed printable electronic components 10 on the printable electronic component wafer 12 to the destination substrate 60.

Methods of forming such structures are described, for example, in the paper AMOLED Displays using Transfer-Printed Integrated Circuits and U.S. Pat. No. 8,889,485, referenced above. For a discussion of micro-transfer printing techniques see, U.S. Pat. Nos. 8,722,458, 7,622,367 and 8,506,867, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Micro-transfer printing using compound micro-assembly structures and methods can also be used with the present invention, for example, as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/822,868, filed Aug. 10, 2015, entitled Compound Micro-Assembly Strategies and Devices, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

According to various embodiments of the present invention, the printable electronic component source wafer 12 can be provided with the printable electronic components 10, release layer (sacrificial layer 52), tethers 56, and connection posts 40 already formed, or they can be constructed as part of the process of the present invention. Similarly, any source wafers having micro-transfer printable electronic devices 20 thereon can be constructed or transfer printed as part of the process of the present invention.

Connection posts 40 are electrical connections formed on a side (e.g., post side 21) of the printable electronic component 10 that extend generally perpendicular to a surface of the post side 21. Such connection posts 40 can be formed from metals such as aluminum, titanium, tungsten, copper, silver, gold, or other conductive metals. In some embodiments, the connection posts 40 are made of one or more high elastic modulus metals, such as tungsten. As used herein, a high elastic modulus is an elastic modulus sufficient to maintain the function and structure of the connection posts 40 when pressed into a destination substrate 60 contact pads 62.

The connection posts 40 can be formed by repeated masking and deposition processes that build up three-dimensional structures, for example, by etching one or more layers of metal evaporated or sputtered on the process side of the printable electronic component 10. Such structures can also be made by forming sacrificial portions 54 of a sacrificial layer 52 on the source wafer 50, etching a well into the surface of the sacrificial portions 54 to form connection post forms 42, filling or covering the connection post forms 42 with a patterned conductive material such as metal, optionally coating the patterned conductive material and filling in the connection post form 42 with a dielectric material, and then removing the sacrificial portions 54. In some embodiments, the connection posts 40 electrically connected to the electronic devices 20 and the connection posts 40 and the electronic devices 20, together with other functional active or passive structures formed in the active layer on the source wafer 12, make up the printable electronic component 10.

The connection posts 40 (including the additional contact posts 40A) can have a variety of aspect ratios and typically have a peak area smaller than a base area. The connection posts 40 can have a sharp point for embedding in or piercing destination substrate 60 contact pads 62. The connection posts 40 can include a post material coated with an electrically conductive material different from the post material. The post material can be an electrically conductive metal or a doped or undoped semiconductor or an electrically insulating polymer, for example a resin, cured, resin, or epoxy and can have any of a variety of hardness or elastic modulus values. In an embodiment, the post material is softer than the conductive material so that the conductive material can crumple when the connection post 40 is under mechanical pressure. Alternatively, the conductive material is softer than the post material so that it deforms before the post material when under mechanical pressure. By deform is meant that the connection posts 40 or the contact pads 62 or conductive material change shape as a consequence of the transfer printing. The connection post 40 or post material can be a semiconductor material, such as silicon or GaN, formed by etching material from around the connection post 40. Coatings, such as the conductive material can be evaporated or sputtered over the post material structure and then pattern-wise etched to form the connection post 40. The conductive material can be a solder or other metal or metal alloy that flows under a relatively low temperature, for example less than 120 degrees C. In particular, the conductive material can have a melting point less than the melting point of the post material.

In certain embodiments, the two or more adjacent connection posts 40 comprise a first and a second connection post of different heights. In certain embodiments, the distance between two or more connection posts 40 is less than a width or length of the contact pads 62 in a direction parallel to the destination substrate 60. In certain embodiments, the connection posts 40 are disposed in groups, the connection posts 40 within a group are electrically connected to a common destination substrate 60 contact pad 62 and the connection posts 40 in different groups are electrically connected to different contact pads 62. In certain embodiments, the connection posts 40 are disposed in groups and a spacing between adjacent connection posts 40 within a given group is less than a spacing between adjacent groups. In certain embodiments, the connection posts 40 within a group are electrically shorted together. In certain embodiments, each of the two or more connection posts 40 is a multi-layer connection post 40. In certain embodiments, the contact pad 62 comprises a material that is the same material as a material included in the connection post 40.

In certain embodiments, the contact pads 62 comprise a material that is softer than that of the connection post 40. In certain embodiments, the connection posts 40 comprise a material that is softer than that of the contact pads 62. In certain embodiments, a conductive material other than a material of the destination substrate contact pad 62 or the connection post 40 adheres or electrically connects, or both, the contact pad 62 to the connection post 40. In certain embodiments, the contact pad 62 has a first conductive layer and a second conductive layer over the first conductive layer, and the second conductive layer has a lower melting temperature than the first conductive layer. In embodiments, the contact pad 62 is coated with a non-conductive layer or the contact pad is 62 formed on a compliant non-conductive layer. In certain embodiments, the second conductive layer is a solder. In certain embodiments, the contact pad 62 is welded to the connection post 40. In certain embodiments, the contact pads 62 are non-planar and the connection posts 40 are inserted into the contact pads 62.

The destination substrate 60 contact pads 62 can be made of a relatively soft metal, such as tin, solder, or tin-based solder, to assist in forming good electrical contact with the connection posts 40 and adhesion with the printable electronic components 10. As used herein, a soft metal may refer to a metal into which a connection post 40 can be pressed to form an electrical connection between the connection post 40 and the contact pad 62. In this arrangement, the contact pad 62 can plastically deform and flow under mechanical pressure to provide a good electrical connection between the connection post 40 and the contact pad 62.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the connection posts 40 can include a soft metal and the contact pads 62 include a high elastic modulus metal. In this arrangement, the connection posts 40 can plastically deform and flow under mechanical pressure to provide a good electrical connection between the connection post 40 and the contact pads 62.

If an optional layer of adhesive 64 is formed on the destination substrate 60 (FIG. 18), the connection posts 40 can be driven through the adhesive layer 64 to form an electrical connection with the contact pads 62 beneath the adhesive layer 64. The adhesive layer 64 can be cured to more firmly adhere the printable electronic components 10 to the destination substrate 60 and maintain a robust electrical connection between the connection posts 40 and contact pads 62 in the presence of mechanical stress. The adhesive layer 64 can undergo some shrinkage during the curing process that can further strengthen the electrical connectivity and adhesion between the connection post 40 and the contact pads 62.

In alternative embodiments of the present invention, the connection posts 40 of the printable electronic components 10 are in contact with, are embedded in, or pierce the contact pads 62 of the destination substrate 60. In other or additional embodiments, either or both one or more of the connection posts 40 and the contact pads 62 are deformed or crumpled into a non-planar shape or are deformed so that the surfaces of the connection posts 40 and the contact pads 62 change shape on contact with each other. The deformation or crumpling can improve the electrical connection between the connection posts 40 and the contact pads 62 by increasing the surface area that is in contact between the connection posts 40 and the contact pads 62. To facilitate deformation, in an embodiment the connection posts 40 have a composition softer than that of the contact pads 62 or the contact pads 62 have a composition softer than the connection posts 40.

In another embodiment, the contact pads 62 are coated with an optional polymer layer that can extend over the destination substrate 60. The connection posts 40 of the printable electronic components 10 are driven through the polymer layer to make electrical contact with the contact pads 62. The polymer layer can protect the contact pads 62 and serve to embed the connection posts 40 in the contact pads 62 by adhering to the connection posts 40. Alternatively, a compliant polymer layer is formed beneath the contact pads 62 to facilitate the mechanical contact made when the connection posts 40 are embedded in the contact pads 62. For example, a metal or metal alloy containing as gold, tin, silver, or aluminum, can be formed over a polymer layer or a polymer layer coated over a metal or metal alloy containing gold, tin, silver, or aluminum. The compliant polymer layer can also serve to adhere the connection posts 40 to the contact pads 62.

In some embodiments, the printable electronic components 10 include small integrated circuits such as LEDs or assemblies of such small integrated circuits formed in or disposed on a semiconductor wafer, for example gallium arsenide or silicon, which can have a crystalline structure. Processing technologies for these materials typically employ high heat and reactive chemicals. However, by employing transfer technologies that do not stress the printable electronic component 10 or substrate materials, more benign environmental conditions can be used compared to thin-film manufacturing processes. Thus, the present invention has an advantage in that flexible substrates, such as polymeric substrates, that are intolerant of extreme processing conditions (e.g. heat, chemical, or mechanical processes) can be employed for the destination substrates 60. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that crystalline semiconductor substrates have strong mechanical properties and, in small sizes, can be relatively flexible and tolerant of mechanical stress. This is particularly true for substrates having 5-micron, 10-micron, 20-micron, 50-micron, or even 100-micron thicknesses. Alternatively, the printable electronic components 10 can be formed in a microcrystalline, polycrystalline, or amorphous semiconductor layer.

The printable electronic components 10 can be constructed using foundry fabrication processes used in the art. Layers of materials can be used, including materials such as metals, oxides, nitrides and other materials used in the integrated-circuit art. Each printable electronic component 10 can be or include a complete semiconductor integrated circuit and can include, for example, transistors. The printable electronic components 10 can have different sizes, for example, 1000 square microns or 10,000 square microns, 100,000 square microns, or 1 square mm, or larger, and can have variable aspect ratios, for example 1:1, 2:1, 5:1, or 10:1. The printable electronic components 10 can be rectangular or can have other shapes.

Embodiments of the present invention provide advantages over other printing methods described in the prior art. By employing connection posts 40 on printable electronic components 10 and a printing method that provides printable electronic components 10 on a destination substrate 60 and connection posts 40 adjacent to the destination substrate 60, a low-cost method for printing chiplets in large quantities over a destination substrate 60 is provided. Furthermore, additional process steps for electrically connecting the printable electronic components 10 to the destination substrate 60 are obviated.

The source wafer 12 and printable electronic components 10, micro-transfer printing stamps, and destination substrate 60 can be made separately and at different times or in different temporal orders or locations and provided in various process states.

The method of the present invention can be iteratively applied to a single or multiple destination substrates 60. By repeatedly transferring sub-arrays of printable electronic components 10 from a transfer stamp to a destination substrate 60 and relatively moving the transfer stamp and destination substrates 60 between stamping operations by a distance equal to the spacing of the selected printable electronic components 10 in the transferred sub-array between each transfer of printable electronic components 10, an array of printable electronic components 10 formed at a high density on a source wafer 12 can be transferred to a destination substrate 60 at a much lower density. In practice, the source wafer 12 is likely to be expensive, and forming printable electronic components 10 with a high density on the source wafer 12 will reduce the cost of the printable electronic components 10, especially as compared to forming printable electronic components 10 on the destination substrate 60.

In particular, in the case wherein the active printable electronic component 10 is or includes an integrated circuit formed in a crystalline semiconductor material, the integrated circuit substrate provides sufficient cohesion, strength, and flexibility that it can adhere to the destination substrate 60 without breaking as the transfer stamp is removed.

In comparison to thin-film manufacturing methods, using densely populated source substrate wafers 12 and transferring printable electronic components 10 to a destination substrate 60 that requires only a sparse array of printable electronic components 10 located thereon does not waste or require active layer material on a destination substrate 60. The present invention can also be used in transferring printable electronic components 10 made with crystalline semiconductor materials that have higher performance than thin-film active components. Furthermore, the flatness, smoothness, chemical stability, and heat stability requirements for a destination substrate 60 used in embodiments of the present invention may be reduced because the adhesion and transfer process is not substantially limited by the material properties of the destination substrate 60. Manufacturing and material costs may be reduced because of high utilization rates of more expensive materials (e.g., the source substrate) and reduced material and processing requirements for the destination substrate 60.

As is understood by those skilled in the art, the terms “over” and “under” are relative terms and can be interchanged in reference to different orientations of the layers, elements, and substrates included in the present invention. For example, a first layer on a second layer, in some implementations means a first layer directly on and in contact with a second layer. In other implementations a first layer on a second layer includes a first layer and a second layer with another layer therebetween.

The terms row and column are arbitrary and relative designations and can be exchanged in embodiments of the present invention.

Having described certain implementations of embodiments, it will now become apparent to one of skill in the art that other implementations incorporating the concepts of the disclosure may be used. Therefore, the disclosure should not be limited to certain implementations, but rather should be limited only by the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Throughout the description, where apparatus and systems are described as having, including, or comprising specific components, or where processes and methods are described as having, including, or comprising specific steps, it is contemplated that, additionally, there are apparatus, and systems of the disclosed technology that consist essentially of, or consist of, the recited components, and that there are processes and methods according to the disclosed technology that consist essentially of, or consist of, the recited processing steps.

It should be understood that the order of steps or order for performing certain action is immaterial so long as the disclosed technology remains operable. Moreover, two or more steps or actions in some circumstances can be conducted simultaneously. The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to certain embodiments thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention.

PARTS LIST

  • 10 printable electronic component
  • 10A additional printable electronic component
  • 12 printable electronic component wafer/source wafer
  • 13 component substrate
  • 16 control circuit
  • 20 electronic device/LED
  • 20C controller
  • 20R red LED
  • 20G green LED
  • 20B blue LED
  • 21 post side
  • 22 device electrical contact
  • 23 stamp side
  • 24 dielectric structure
  • 26 encapsulation layer
  • 28 dielectric layer
  • 30 electrical conductor/electrode
  • 32 row conductor
  • 33 parallel portion
  • 34 column conductor
  • 36 electrical conductor/wire
  • 40 connection post/spike/first connection post
  • 40A additional connection post
  • 40C column connection post
  • 40R row connection post
  • 41 unconnected post
  • 42 connection post form
  • 50 wafer/wafer material
  • 52 sacrificial layer
  • 54 sacrificial portion
  • 56 tether
  • 58 anchor/anchor portion
  • 60 destination substrate
  • 62 contact pad
  • 64 adhesive/adhesive layer
  • 70 light
  • 80 display substrate
  • 82 display
  • 100 provide source wafer step
  • 110 pattern sacrificial layer step
  • 120 make connection post forms step
  • 130 provide LED step
  • 140 pattern dielectric and electrodes step
  • 150 pattern encapsulation layer step
  • 200 etch sacrificial layer step
  • 210 provide display substrate step
  • 220 pattern electrical conductors step
  • 230 micro-transfer print printable electronic component step

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Illumination apparatus OPTOVATE LIMITED 05 November 2011 08 May 2013
Capacitive in-cell touch screen panel and display device BEIJING BOE OPTOELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. 03 September 2013 05 March 2014
Led display assembly YOUNGQUIST, JOHN S. 18 May 2001 20 September 2001
Image display unit and method of producing image display unit SONY CORPORATION 30 January 2002 25 July 2002
LCD backlight containing a LED with adapted light emission and suitable colour filters MITSUBISHI CHEMICAL CORPORATION 25 April 2005 15 July 2009
See full citation <>

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