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Corrosion of silicon integrated circuits and lifetime predictions in implantable electronic devices

Vanhoestenberghe, A; Donaldson, N; (2013) Corrosion of silicon integrated circuits and lifetime predictions in implantable electronic devices. Journal of Neural Engineering , 10 (3) , Article 031002. 10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/031002. Green open access

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Abstract

Corrosion is a prime concern for active implantable devices. In this paper we review the principles underlying the concepts of hermetic packages and encapsulation, used to protect implanted electronics, some of which remain widely overlooked. We discuss how technological advances have created a need to update the way we evaluate the suitability of both protection methods. We demonstrate how lifetime predictability is lost for very small hermetic packages and introduce a single parameter to compare different packages, with an equation to calculate the minimum sensitivity required from a test method to guarantee a given lifetime. In the second part of this paper, we review the literature on the corrosion of encapsulated integrated circuits (ICs) and, following a new analysis of published data, we propose an equation for the pre-corrosion lifetime of implanted ICs, and discuss the influence of the temperature, relative humidity, encapsulation and field-strength. As any new protection will be tested under accelerated conditions, we demonstrate the sensitivity of acceleration factors to some inaccurately known parameters. These results are relevant for any application of electronics working in a moist environment. Our comparison of encapsulation and hermetic packages suggests that both concepts may be suitable for future implants.

Type: Article
Title: Corrosion of silicon integrated circuits and lifetime predictions in implantable electronic devices
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/031002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1741-2560/10/3/031002
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Keywords: Coated Materials, Biocompatible, Corrosion, Electronics, Medical, Equipment Failure Analysis, Materials Testing, Prostheses and Implants, Semiconductors, Silicon
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1395063
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