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2 - Ultrananocrystalline Diamond (UNCD™) Film as a Hermetic Biocompatible/Bioinert Coating for Encapsulation of an Eye-Implantable Microchip to Restore Partial Vision to Blind People

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2022

Orlando Auciello
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Dallas
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Summary

This chapter focuses on describing the work done to develop UNCD films as hermetic, bio-inert/biocompatible (made of C atoms-element of life in human DNA) coatings for encapsulation of Si-based microchips implantable inside the eye on the human retina, as the main component of an artificial retina to restore partial vision to people blinded by genetically-induced degeneration of the retina photoreceptors. The UNCD coating enables implantation of the Si microchips inside the eye, since diamond is totally inert to chemical attack by the eye humor, as opposed to Si, which is chemically etched. The chapter describes the synthesis of the UNCD films with focus on using a novel low temperature (≤ 400 ˚C) UNCD growth process to make it compatible with encapsulation of the Si microchip without destroying the CMOS transistors, in the chip, which exhibit a thermal budget of 400 ˚C, i.e., they cannot be heated beyond those temperatures since they would be destroyed. The chapter also the extremely smooth and dense surface needed for the UNCD coating to be hermetic.

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