Abstract

Fabrics and fibrous materials offer a soft, porous, and flexible substrate for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) packaging in breathable, wearable formats that allow airflow. Device-on-fiber systems require developments in the field of E-Textiles including smart fibers, functional fiber intersections, textile circuit routing, and alignment methods that adapt to irregular materials. In this paper, we demonstrate a MEMS-on-fabric layout workflow that obtains fiber intersection locations from high-resolution fabric images. We implement an image processing algorithm to drive the MEMS layout software, creating an individualized MEMS “gripper” layout designed to grasp fibers on a specific fabric substrate during a wafer-to-fabric parallel transfer step. The efficiency of the algorithm in terms of a number of intersections identified on the complete image is analyzed. The specifications of the MEMS layout design such as the length of the MEMS gripper, spatial distribution, and orientation are derivable from the MATLAB routine implemented on the image. Furthermore, the alignment procedure, tolerance, and hardware setup for the alignment method of the framed sample fabric to the wafer processed using the custom gripper layout are discussed along with the challenges of the release of MEMS devices from the Si substrate to the fabric substrate.

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