AVS1998 Session MM+NS+SS-TuM: Micro-Science and Tribology of MEMS

Tuesday, November 3, 1998 8:20 AM in Room 324/325

Tuesday Morning

Time Period TuM Sessions | Abstract Timeline | Topic MM Sessions | Time Periods | Topics | AVS1998 Schedule

Start Invited? Item
8:20 AM MM+NS+SS-TuM-1 Making a Bridge to the Nanoworld
S.R. Manalis, S.C. Minne, J.D. Adams, K.B. Crozier, H.T. Soh, T.A. Sulchek, K. Wilder (Stanford University); G.G. Yaralioglu, A. Atalar (Bilkent University, Turkey); C.F. Quate (Stanford University)
Our vision for micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) is to provide a window to the microscopic world. Scanning probe microscopes with automated cantilever arrays now image surface areas in excess of one square millimeter with atomic resolution. We will present new types of cantilevers and transducers that improve the speed, sensitivity, and simplicity of scanning probe microscopes. Samples are imaged at video rates with an integrated piezoelectric actuator that bends the cantilever over surface topography at high speeds. The deflection sensor, which consists of a micromachined light modulator, monitors cantilever bending with a sensitivity near one percent of an atomic diameter. We also present approaches for microfabricated biological sensors based on mechanical, electrical, and optical methods of transduction.
9:00 AM MM+NS+SS-TuM-3 Nanotribology of Vapor-Phase Lubricants and Their Potential Applications to MEMS1
J. Krim (North Carolina State University)
The concept of lubricating high temperature surfaces with organic vapors has existed for at least forty years, with substantial efforts beginning in the 1980's and continuing on to the present day. Vapor-phase lubricants are advantageous for use at high temperature, as well as in situations where the vapor can be used as a reservoir for replenishment of areas where the lubricant has been depleted in the course of device operation. While work in the area of vapor-phase lubrication has to date focussed on the lubrication of macroscopic systems, vapor lubrication mechanisms may ultimately prove to be of critical importance to sub-micron mechanical systems in cases where lubricant delivery and/or replenishment by other methods proves impractical. In order to examine the viability of vapor-phase lubrication at length scales commensurate with submicron-scale machinery, we have constructed a Quartz Crystal Microbalance which operates in combination with a Scanning Probe Microscope so as to form a simple nanometer-scale mechanical system whose response to a number of vapor-phase lubricants can be monitored for nanotribological performance. Our observations of organic and water-vapor films recorded with this device will be discussed.

1Work supported by NSF and AFOSR

10:20 AM MM+NS+SS-TuM-7 Vacuum Deposited Fluorinated Alkyl Siloxane Films for Adhesion Control in MEMS Devices
T.M. Mayer, M.P. de Boer, N.D. Shinn, P.J. Clews, T.A. Michalske (Sandia National Laboratories)
Monolayer films of polymerized alkyl siloxanes have been employed for surface passivation and adhesion control in MEMS devices. However, reproducible film formation and properties have been difficult to achieve due to process sensitivity to substrate preparation conditions, presence of small quantities of adsorbed water, and the high aspect ratio structures typical of MEMS devices. In contrast to the normal solution coating process using alkyl trichlorosilane precursors, we have developed a vacuum-based film deposition process, using volatile fluorinated alkyl trichloro silane precursors. Reproducible substrate conditions are obtained by UV-ozone oxidation followed by sequential or simultaneous exposure to the chlorosilane precursor and water vapor. Efficient transport of reactants into high aspect ratio structures is accomplished by maintaining Knudsen flow conditions at low pressures. We measure kinetics of film growth by in-situ ellipsometric and quartz-crystal microbalance techniques, and evaluate film composition and structure by XPS and IR spectroscopies. We also measure the work of adhesion and surface energy of coated cantilever beams under equilibrium fracture mechanics conditions. We compare results to uncoated structures, and to structures coated from solution with alkyl and fluoro-alkyl siloxane films. Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corp., a Lockheed Martin Company, for the U. S. Dept. of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.
11:00 AM MM+NS+SS-TuM-9 Adhesion Hysteresis of Polysilicon Beams in Controlled Humidity Ambients
M.P. de Boer, T.A. Michalske, M.R. Tabbara (Sandia National Laboratories); R. Maboudian (University of California, Berkeley); T.M. Mayer (Sandia National Laboratories)
Auto-adhesion, or spontaneous sticking between MEMS structures, is currently a major limitation in bringing this new class of engineering devices to the broader market. MEMS are particularly susceptible to auto-adhesion because the structural members: 1) are constructed in close proximity to each other, 2) are highly compliant due to their extreme length to thickness aspect ratio and, 3) have large surface to volume ratios which increase the relative importance of adhesive surface forces. If the miniature structural members are brought together by surface (capillary, electrostatic) or inertial (shock, rapid air flow) forces, they may remain adhered after the external force is removed. If the structures remain adhered, bonding may increase over time, giving rise to the phenomena known as adhesion hysteresis. In this work we develop mechanical analysis for and report on measurements of adhesion hysteresis in surface micromachined polysilicon beams subject to dry and wet ambients. The electrostatically activated beams used in this study were tested directly after supercritical drying or after the application of hydrophobic molecular coatings such as octadecyltrichlorosilane (ODTS) or perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (FDTS). Results indicate that both uncoated and coated beams show strong increase in adhesion after an incubation period in humid environments. This incubation time is shorter and occurrs at lower RH for uncoated beams than coated beams. For the case of uncoated beams, we are able to show that a model based on individual asperity contact forces can be used to predict the overall adhesion behavior in micromachined beams. The behavior of coated beams is compared with ellipsometric measurements indicating water adsorption on these nominaly hydrophobic surfaces after extended exposure at high RH conditions.
Time Period TuM Sessions | Abstract Timeline | Topic MM Sessions | Time Periods | Topics | AVS1998 Schedule