APEX® Glass Technology and Properties


APEX® Glass offers several advantages over traditional I/C packaging materials, such as silicon, laminates, and laser processed glass, including

  • Batch manufacturing enables low-cost production
  • Multi-faceted production enables greater integration of active components lowering production and packaging costs
  • Smooth surfaces and ultra-small through holes with tight densities provide industry-leading electrical routing densities
  • Broad spectrum transparency is ideal for many optoelectronics and opto-RF applications
  • Better material constants compared against laminates and silicon enables a 66% chip reduction allowing for 2.2 times more parts per wafer
  • Micro-fracture free production of through holes ensures lower loss and better reliability compared against laser processed glass
  • Glass-enabled systems integration


APEX® Glass is processed using a simple three-step process:

  1. EXPOSE:  The wafer is masked using a photomask (no photoresist) and then exposed to UV light
  2. BAKE:  the exposed wafer is baked to convert the exposed regions into a ceramic; and
  3. ETCH:  the exposed and baked wafer is etched in a diluted acid removing the ceramic regions.

This simple manufacturing process enables our APEX® Glass as a systems integrator and gives a high degree of flexibility and integration of multiple processing steps to create monolithically integrated electronic packages.

Using this manufacturing approach the final product may:

  • Contain a variety of through glass via shapes, sizes and densities
  • Contain multiple etched features including through glass vias, cavities, lines, channels, and wells
  • Be fully glass, fully ceramic, or hybrids of the two states

3DGS has a variety of advanced foundry capabilities.  To learn more please visit our Custom Design & Fabrication webpage.

APEX® Glass Properties


APEX® Glass is a photosensitive glass-ceramic material ideally suited for the microstructuring of precision features.  APEX® Glass is ideally suited for a number of markets including RF signal conditioning, IC packaging, life science, and integrated photonics.  APEX® Glass is produced and sold exclusively by 3D Glass Solutions, Inc.


APEX® Glass is an Alumino-silicate glass with a medium coefficient of thermal expansion ideally positioned between silicon (3ppm/K) and copper (17ppm/K).  APEX® Glass also has a high glass transition temperature enabling an elevated post-processing thermal window for downstream microfabrication needs.


Description Specification
Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 10ppm/K
Glass Transition Temperature (Tg) 452 C
Density 2.35 g/cm3
Young’s Modulus 80 GPa
Thermal Conductivity 1.5 W/mK


APEX® Glass is used extensively for a number of microwave and RF applications. Leveraging APEX® Glass’ electrical characteristics with advanced manufacturing and designs is only possible with photo-definable glasses enables electronic structures with very high Q, low loss, with greater data transfer rates at lower power consumption.


Description Specification
Electrical Resistivity 10˄12 ohm-cm
Frequency (GHz) 0 – 20
Loss Tangent 0.0102
Dielectric Constant 6.4


APEX® Glass is an ideal material for a number of photonics and optoelectronic applications.  Combine APEX® Glass’  electrical integration and optical properties to create small and powerful optics systems.

Specification Glass Ceramic Note
1550nm 93% 82% Tested with 1mm thick samples.
RI Glass Ceramic Precipitate
532nm 1.5283 1.5293 1.5260
633nm 1.5238 1.5249 1.5216
986nm No Data 1.5166 1.5137
Abbe Number 63.8988    

APEX® Glass Technology 

APEX® Glass is not like traditional glasses. It contains special sensitizers that allow unique anisotropic 3D features to be formed through a simple exposure step. This “photo-structurable glass” combines batch manufacturing processes with standard IC processing toolsets to provide a low-cost, high-volume, production solution.

APEX® Glass’ microfabrication ability is ideally suited for the wafer level packaging of electronic packages. Applications span many industries including 2.5D and 3D packaging, RF packages (inductors, antenna, etc.), optoelectronics, and microcavities among others.