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Adhesion hysteresis of silane coated microcantilevers

Description: The authors have developed a new experimental approach for measuring hysteresis in the adhesion between micromachined surfaces. By accurately modeling the deformations in cantilever beams that are subject to combined interfacial adhesion and applied electrostatic forces, they determine adhesion energies for advancing and receding contacts. They draw on this new method to examine adhesion hysteresis for silane coated micromachined structures and found significant hysteresis for surfaces that were exposed to high relative humidity (RH) conditions. Atomic force microscopy studies of these surfaces showed spontaneous formation of agglomerates that they interpreted as silages that have irreversibly transformed from uniform surface layers at low RH to isolated vesicles at high RH. They used contact deformation models to show that the compliance of these vesicles could reasonably account for the adhesion hysteresis that develops at high RH as the surfaces are forced into contact by an externally applied load.
Date: April 17, 2000
Creator: DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; KNAPP,JAMES A.; MICHALSKE,TERRY A.; SRINIVASAN,U. & MABOUDIAN,R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Vapor Deposition of Fluoroalkylsilane Monolayer Films for Adhesion Control in Microelectromechanical Systems

Description: We have developed a new process for applying a hydrophobic, low adhesion energy coating to microelectromechanical (MEMS) devices. Monolayer films are synthesized from tridecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrooctyltrichlorosilane (FOTS) and water vapor in a low-pressure chemical vapor deposition process at room temperature. Film thickness is self-limiting by virtue of the inability of precursors to stick to the fluorocarbon surface of the film once it has formed. We have measured film densities of {approx}3 molecules nm{sup 2} and film thickness of {approx}1 nm. Films are hydrophobic, with a water contact angle >110{sup o}. We have also incorporated an in-situ downstream microwave plasma cleaning process, which provides a clean, reproducible oxide surface prior to film deposition. Adhesion tests on coated and uncoated MEMS test structures demonstrate superior performance of the FOTS coatings. Cleaned, uncoated cantilever beam structures exhibit high adhesion energies in a high humidity environment. An adhesion energy of 100 mJ m{sup -2} is observed after exposure to >90% relative humidity. Fluoroalkylsilane coated beams exhibit negligible adhesion at low humidity and {<=} 20 {micro}J m{sup -2} adhesion energy at >90% relative humidity. No obvious film degradation was observed for films exposed to >90% relative humidity at room temperature for >24 hr.
Date: January 26, 2000
Creator: MAYER,THOMAS M.; DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; SHINN,NEAL D.; CLEWS,PEGGY J. & MICHALSKE,TERRY A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microdiagnostic Lab on a Chip - LDRD Final Report

Description: Polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) surface micromachining is a new technology for building micrometer ({micro}m) scale mechanical devices on silicon wafers using techniques and process tools borrowed from the manufacture of integrated circuits. Sandia National Laboratories has invested a significant effort in demonstrating the viability of polysilicon surface micromachining and has developed the Sandia Ultraplanar Micromachining Technology (SUMMiT V{trademark} ) process, which consists of five structural levels of polysilicon. A major advantage of polysilicon surface micromachining over other micromachining methods is that thousands to millions of thin film mechanical devices can be built on multiple wafers in a single fabrication lot and will operate without post-processing assembly. However, if thin film mechanical or surface properties do not lie within certain tightly set bounds, micromachined devices will fail and yield will be low. This results in high fabrication costs to attain a certain number of working devices. An important factor in determining the yield of devices in this parallel-processing method is the uniformity of these properties across a wafer and from wafer to wafer. No metrology tool exists that can routinely and accurately quantify such properties. Such a tool would enable micromachining process engineers to understand trends and thereby improve yield of micromachined devices. In this LDRD project, we demonstrated the feasibility of and made significant progress towards automatically mapping mechanical and surface properties of thin films across a wafer. The MEMS parametrics measurement team has implemented a subset of this platform, and approximately 30 wafer lots have been characterized. While more remains to be done to achieve routine characterization of all these properties, we have demonstrated the essential technologies. These include: (1) well-understood test structures fabricated side-by-side with MEMS devices, (2) well-developed analysis methods, (3) new metrologies (i.e., long working distance interferometry) and (4) a hardware/software platform that integrates (1), (2) and ...
Date: March 1, 2002
Creator: DE BOER, MAARTEN P.; SMITH, NORMAN F.; SINCLAIR, MICHAEL B.; BAKER, MICHAEL S. & BITSIE, FERNANDO
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fundamental mechanisms of micromachine reliability

Description: Due to extreme surface to volume ratios, adhesion and friction are critical properties for reliability of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), but are not well understood. In this LDRD the authors established test structures, metrology and numerical modeling to conduct studies on adhesion and friction in MEMS. They then concentrated on measuring the effect of environment on MEMS adhesion. Polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) is the primary material of interest in MEMS because of its integrated circuit process compatibility, low stress, high strength and conformal deposition nature. A plethora of useful micromachined device concepts have been demonstrated using Sandia National Laboratories' sophisticated in-house capabilities. One drawback to polysilicon is that in air the surface oxidizes, is high energy and is hydrophilic (i.e., it wets easily). This can lead to catastrophic failure because surface forces can cause MEMS parts that are brought into contact to adhere rather than perform their intended function. A fundamental concern is how environmental constituents such as water will affect adhesion energies in MEMS. The authors first demonstrated an accurate method to measure adhesion as reported in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2 through 5, they then studied the effect of water on adhesion depending on the surface condition (hydrophilic or hydrophobic). As described in Chapter 2, they find that adhesion energy of hydrophilic MEMS surfaces is high and increases exponentially with relative humidity (RH). Surface roughness is the controlling mechanism for this relationship. Adhesion can be reduced by several orders of magnitude by silane coupling agents applied via solution processing. They decrease the surface energy and render the surface hydrophobic (i.e. does not wet easily). However, only a molecular monolayer coats the surface. In Chapters 3-5 the authors map out the extent to which the monolayer reduces adhesion versus RH. They find that adhesion is independent of RH up to a ...
Date: January 1, 2000
Creator: DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; SNIEGOWSKI,JEFFRY J.; KNAPP,JAMES A.; REDMOND,JAMES M.; MICHALSKE,TERRY A. & MAYER,THOMAS K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Humidity Dependence of Adhesion for Silane Coated Microcantilevers

Description: This study examines adhesion between silane-coated micromachined surfaces that are exposed to humid conditions. Our quantitative values for interfacial adhesion energies are determined from an in-situ optical measurement of deformations in partly-adhered cantilever beams. We coated micromachined cantilevers with either ODTS (C{sub 18}H{sub 37}SiCl{sub 3}) or FDTS (C{sub 8}F{sub 17}C{sub 2}H{sub 4}SiCl{sub 3}) with the objective of creating hydrophobic surfaces whose adhesion would be independent of humidity. In both cases, the adhesion energy is significantly lower than for uncoated, hydrophilic surfaces. For relative humidities (RH) less than 95% (ODTS) and 80% (FDTS) the adhesion energy was extremely low and constant. In fact, ODTS-coated beams exposed to saturated humidity conditions and long (48 hour) exposures showed only a factor of two increase in adhesion energy. Surprisingly, FDTS coated beams, which initially have a higher contact angle (115{degree}) with water than do ODTS coated beams (112{degree}), proved to be much more sensitive to humidity. The FDTS coated surfaces showed a factor of one hundred increase in adhesion energy after a seven hour exposure to 90% RH. Atomic force microscopy revealed agglomerated coating material after exposed to high RH, suggesting a redistribution of the monolayer film. This agglomeration was more prominent for FDTS than ODTS. These findings suggest a new mechanism for uptake of moisture under high humidity conditions. At high humidities, the silane coatings can reconfigure from a surface to a bulk phase leaving behind locally hydrophilic sites which increase the average measured adhesion energy. In order for the adhesion increase to be observed, a significant fraction of the monolayer must be converted from the surface to the bulk phase.
Date: November 9, 1999
Creator: DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; MAYER,THOMAS M.; CARPICK,ROBERT W.; MICHALSKE,TERRY A.; SRINIVASAN,U. & MABOUDIAN,R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The impact of solution agglomeration on the deposition of self-assembled monolayers

Description: Self-assembled monolayers (SAMS) are commonly produced by immersing substrates in organic solutions containing trichlorosilane coupling agents. Unfortunately, such deposition solutions can also form alternate structures including inverse micelles and lamellar phases. The formation of alternate phases is one reason for the sensitivity of SAM depositions to factors such as the water content of the deposition solvent. If such phases are present, the performance of thin films used for applications such as minimization of friction and stiction in micromachines can be seriously compromised. Inverse micelle formation has been studied in detail for depositions involve 1H-, 1H-, 2H-, 2H-perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (FDTS) in isooctane. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments have been used to monitor the kinetics of hydrolysis and condensation reactions between water and FDTS. Light scattering experiments show that when hydrolyzed FDTS concentrations reach a critical concentration, there is a burst of nucleation to form high concentrations of spherical agglomerates. Atomic force microscopy results show that the agglomerates then deposit on substrate surfaces. Deposition conditions leading to monolayer formation involve using deposition times that are short relative to the induction time for agglomeration. After deposition, inverse micelles can be converted into lamellar or monolayer structures with appropriate heat treatments if surface concentrations are relatively low.
Date: April 17, 2000
Creator: BUNKER,BRUCE C.; CARPICK,ROBERT W.; ASSINK,ROGER A.; THOMAS,MICHAEL L.; HANKINS,MATTHEW G.; VOIGT,JAMES A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical vapor deposition coating for micromachines

Description: Two major problems associated with Si-based MEMS devices are stiction and wear. Surface modifications are needed to reduce both adhesion and friction in micromechanical structures to solve these problems. In this paper, the authors will present a process used to selectively coat MEMS devices with tungsten using a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process. The selective W deposition process results in a very conformal coating and can potentially solve both stiction and wear problems confronting MEMS processing. The selective deposition of tungsten is accomplished through silicon reduction of WF{sub 6}, which results in a self-limiting reaction. The selective deposition of W only on polysilicon surfaces prevents electrical shorts. Further, the self-limiting nature of this selective W deposition process ensures the consistency necessary for process control. Selective tungsten is deposited after the removal of the sacrificial oxides to minimize process integration problems. This tungsten coating adheres well and is hard and conducting, requirements for device performance. Furthermore, since the deposited tungsten infiltrates under adhered silicon parts and the volume of W deposited is less than the amount of Si consumed, it appears to be possible to release stuck parts that are contacted over small areas such as dimples. Results from tungsten deposition on MEMS structures with dimples will be presented. The effect of wet and vapor phase cleanings prior to the deposition will be discussed along with other process details. The W coating improved wear by orders of magnitude compared to uncoated parts. Tungsten CVD is used in the integrated-circuit industry, which makes this approach manufacturable.
Date: April 21, 2000
Creator: Mani, Seethambal S.; Fleming, James G.; Sniegowski, Jeffry J.; DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; Irwin, Lawrence W.; Walraven, Jeremy A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of W coating on microengine performance

Description: Two major problems associated with Si-based MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) devices are stiction and wear. Surface modifications are needed to reduce both adhesion and friction in micromechanical structures to solve these problems. In this paper, the authors present a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process that selectively coats MEMS devices with tungsten and significantly enhances device durability. Tungsten CVD is used in the integrated-circuit industry, which makes this approach manufacturable. This selective deposition process results in a very conformal coating and can potentially address both stiction and wear problems confronting MEMS processing. The selective deposition of tungsten is accomplished through the silicon reduction of WF{sub 6}. The self-limiting nature of the process ensures consistent process control. The tungsten is deposited after the removal of the sacrificial oxides to minimize stress and process integration problems. The tungsten coating adheres well and is hard and conducting, which enhances performance for numerous devices. Furthermore, since the deposited tungsten infiltrates under adhered silicon parts and the volume of W deposited is less than the amount of Si consumed, it appears to be possible to release adhered parts that are contacted over small areas such as dimples. The wear resistance of tungsten coated parts has been shown to be significantly improved by microengine test structures.
Date: March 1, 2000
Creator: MANI,SEETHAMBAL S.; FLEMING,JAMES G.; WALRAVEN,JEREMY A.; SNIEGOWSKI,JEFFRY J.; DE BOER,MAARTEN P.; IRWIN,LLOYD W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors

Description: This report describes a new microsystems technology for the creation of microsensors and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using stress-free amorphous diamond (aD) films. Stress-free aD is a new material that has mechanical properties close to that of crystalline diamond, and the material is particularly promising for the development of high sensitivity microsensors and rugged and reliable MEMS. Some of the unique properties of aD include the ability to easily tailor film stress from compressive to slightly tensile, hardness and stiffness 80-90% that of crystalline diamond, very high wear resistance, a hydrophobic surface, extreme chemical inertness, chemical compatibility with silicon, controllable electrical conductivity from insulating to conducting, and biocompatibility. A variety of MEMS structures were fabricated from this material and evaluated. These structures included electrostatically-actuated comb drives, micro-tensile test structures, singly- and doubly-clamped beams, and friction and wear test structures. It was found that surface micromachined MEMS could be fabricated in this material easily and that the hydrophobic surface of the film enabled the release of structures without the need for special drying procedures or the use of applied hydrophobic coatings. Measurements using these structures revealed that aD has a Young's modulus of {approx}650 GPa, a tensile fracture strength of 8 GPa, and a fracture toughness of 8 MPa{center_dot}m {sup 1/2}. These results suggest that this material may be suitable in applications where stiction or wear is an issue. Flexural plate wave (FPW) microsensors were also fabricated from aD. These devices use membranes of aD as thin as {approx}100 nm. The performance of the aD FPW sensors was evaluated for the detection of volatile organic compounds using ethyl cellulose as the sensor coating. For comparable membrane thicknesses, the aD sensors showed better performance than silicon nitride based sensors. Greater than one order of magnitude increase in chemical sensitivity is expected through the ...
Date: June 1, 2002
Creator: SULLIVAN, JOHN P.; FRIEDMANN, THOMAS A.; ASHBY, CAROL I.; DE BOER, MAARTEN P.; SCHUBERT, W. KENT; SHUL, RANDY J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microscale Modeling and Simulation

Description: The Microsystems Subgrid Physics project is intended to address gaps between developing high-performance modeling and simulation capabilities and microdomain specific physics. The initial effort has focused on incorporating electrostatic excitations, adhesive surface interactions, and scale dependent material and thermal properties into existing modeling capabilities. Developments related to each of these efforts are summarized, and sample applications are presented. While detailed models of the relevant physics are still being developed, a general modeling framework is emerging that can be extended to incorporate evolving material and surface interaction modules.
Date: December 1, 2001
Creator: REDMOND, JAMES M.; REEDY JR., EARL DAVID; HEINSTEIN, MARTIN W.; DE BOER, MAARTEN P.; KNAPP, JAMES A.; PIEKOS, EDWARD S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Materials Issues for Micromachines Development - ASCI Program Plan

Description: This report summarizes materials issues associated with advanced micromachines development at Sandia. The intent of this report is to provide a perspective on the scope of the issues and suggest future technical directions, with a focus on computational materials science. Materials issues in surface micromachining (SMM), Lithographic-Galvanoformung-Abformung (LIGA: lithography, electrodeposition, and molding), and meso-machining technologies were identified. Each individual issue was assessed in four categories: degree of basic understanding; amount of existing experimental data capability of existing models; and, based on the perspective of component developers, the importance of the issue to be resolved. Three broad requirements for micromachines emerged from this process. They are: (1) tribological behavior, including stiction, friction, wear, and the use of surface treatments to control these, (2) mechanical behavior at microscale, including elasticity, plasticity, and the effect of microstructural features on mechanical strength, and (3) degradation of tribological and mechanical properties in normal (including aging), abnormal and hostile environments. Resolving all the identified critical issues requires a significant cooperative and complementary effort between computational and experimental programs. The breadth of this work is greater than any single program is likely to support. This report should serve as a guide to plan micromachines development at Sandia.
Date: May 1, 2000
Creator: FANG,HUEI ELIOT; BATTAILE,CORBETT C.; BENAVIDES,GILBERT L.; ENSZ,MARK T.; BUCHHEIT,THOMAS E.; LAVAN,DAVID A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department