NeuroNexus probes are manufactured using state-of-the-art design, microfabrication, and packaging techniques.
Fabrication begins with a photolithographic mask set used to transfer patterns of the various designs onto thin-films deposited on a silicon wafer. Thin-film fabrication is a batch process that permits us to fabricate a variety of probe designs simultaneously on a silicon wafer. As there is limited space on any given mask set, we run new mask sets and fabricate wafers as needed to fill outstanding probe orders.
Custom designs have to fit onto mask sets along with our standard catalog designs. Every custom order that is included on the wafer will take up a finite amount of space that would otherwise have been dedicated to fabricating other probes. There are three main time-consuming elements in this process:
- Time until we can fit a design onto a future mask set
- Time for fabrication
- Time for assembly
The first step above is usually the rate-limiting step in the process. Fabrication times are usually similar. There is some variation in the assembly time based upon complexity and queue priority, but those time variations are on the order of 1 – 2 weeks. There is often more than a month between fab runs, and there may not always be room to put a new design onto an upcoming mask set. Thus, getting a priority position in upcoming masks can make a difference of months in delivery time.