Performance of Ultra Hard Carbon Wear Coatings on Microgears Fabricated by Liga

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Stiction and friction are of concern for the reliable, long-term application of Ni-alloy micromachines. We have found that the application of a 30-70 nm hard carbon coating produces a significant reduction in the friction coefficient and wear rate of electroformed Ni substrates in reciprocating sliding contact under simulated MEMS operating conditions. To evaluate the performance of coated components, a series of 70-pm-thick microgears ranging in diameter from 0.2 to 2.2 mm were fabricated from electroformed Ni via standard LIGA processes and fixtured on posts in preparation for the coating procedure. A pulsed vacuum- arc deposition process was used to deposit ... continued below

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Ager III, J.W.; Brown, I.G.; Christenson, T.R.; Dugger, M.T.; Follstaedt, D.M.; Knapp, J.A. et al. December 18, 1998.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Stiction and friction are of concern for the reliable, long-term application of Ni-alloy micromachines. We have found that the application of a 30-70 nm hard carbon coating produces a significant reduction in the friction coefficient and wear rate of electroformed Ni substrates in reciprocating sliding contact under simulated MEMS operating conditions. To evaluate the performance of coated components, a series of 70-pm-thick microgears ranging in diameter from 0.2 to 2.2 mm were fabricated from electroformed Ni via standard LIGA processes and fixtured on posts in preparation for the coating procedure. A pulsed vacuum- arc deposition process was used to deposit a carbon coating on the gears with the plasma incident at a shallow angle to the gears' top surface. A sample bias of -2 keV was used in order to produce a coating with relatively low stress and good adhesion while maintaining high hardness. This coating process is known to be somewhat comformal to the component surfaces. The coating uniformity, particularly in the high-aspect-ratio areas between the gear teeth, was evaluated with micro-Raman spectroscopy. It is shown that the coating can be applied uniformly on the top gear surface. Between the gear teeth the coating was the same thickness as on top of the gear down to a point 50 ~m below the top surface. Below that point (i.e. between 50 and 70 Lm), the coating thickness is somewhat thinner, but is still present. These results demonstrate that it is possible to a deposit hard carbon coating on microgears to reduce friction and wear in micromachines.

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  • Material Research Society 1998 Fall Symposium; Boston, MA; 11/30-12/04/1998

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  • Other: DE00002454
  • Report No.: SAND98-1771C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 2454
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc669643

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  • December 18, 1998

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 4:20 p.m.

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Ager III, J.W.; Brown, I.G.; Christenson, T.R.; Dugger, M.T.; Follstaedt, D.M.; Knapp, J.A. et al. Performance of Ultra Hard Carbon Wear Coatings on Microgears Fabricated by Liga, article, December 18, 1998; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc669643/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.