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Multi-layer enhancement to polysilicon surface-micromachining technology

Description: A multi-level polysilicon surface-micromachining technology consisting of 5 layers of polysilicon is presented. Surface topography and film mechanical stress are the major impediments encountered in the development of a multilayer surface-micromachining process. However, excellent mechanical film characteristics have been obtained through the use of chemical-mechanical polishing for planarization of topography and by proper sequencing of film deposition with thermal anneals. Examples of operating microactuators, geared power-transfer mechanisms, and optical elements demonstrate the mechanical advantages of construction with 5 polysilicon layers.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Sniegowski, J.J. & Rodgers, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A manufacturing method for multi-layer polysilicon surface-micromachining technology

Description: An advanced manufacturing technology which provides multi-layered polysilicon surface micromachining technology for advanced weapon systems is presented. Specifically, the addition of another design layer to a 4 levels process to create a 5 levels process allows consideration of fundamentally new architecture in designs for weapon advanced surety components.
Date: January 1, 1998
Creator: Sniegowski, J.J. & Rodgers, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manufacturing microsystems-on-a-chip with 5-level surface micromachining technology

Description: An agile microsystem manufacturing technology has been developed that provides unprecedented 5 levels of independent polysilicon surface-micromachine films for the designer. Typical surface-micromachining processes offer a maximum of 3 levels, making this the most complex surface-micromachining process technology developed to date. Leveraged from the extensive infrastructure present in the microelectronics industry, the manufacturing method of polysilicon surface-micromachining offers similar advantages of high-volume, high-reliability, and batch-fabrication to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) as has been accomplished with integrated circuits (ICs). These systems, comprised of microscopic-sized mechanical elements, are laying the foundation for a rapidly expanding, multi-billion dollar industry 2 which impacts the automotive, consumer product, and medical industries to name only a few.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Sniegowski, J. & Rodgers, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applying macro design tools to the design of MEMS accelerometers

Description: This paper describes the design of two different surface micromachined (MEMS) accelerometers and the use of design and analysis tools intended for macro sized devices. This work leverages a process for integrating both the micromechanical structures and microelectronics circuitry of a MEMS accelerometer on the same chip. In this process, the mechanical components of the sensor are first fabricated at the bottom of a trench etched into the wafer substrate. The trench is then filled with oxide and sealed to protect the mechanical components during subsequent microelectronics processing. The wafer surface is then planarized in preparation for CMOS processing. Next, the CMOS electronics are fabricated and the mechanical structures are released. The mechanical structure of each sensor consists of two polysilicon plate masses suspended by multiple springs (cantilevered beam structures) over corresponding polysilicon plates fixed to the substrate to form two parallel plate capacitors. One polysilicon plate mass is suspended using compliant springs forming a variable capacitor. The other polysilicon plate mass is suspended using very stiff springs acting as a fixed capacitor. Acceleration is measured by comparing the variable capacitance with the fixed capacitance during acceleration.
Date: February 1, 1998
Creator: Davies, B.R.; Rodgers, M.S. & Montague, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design tools and issues of silicon micromachined (MEMS) devices

Description: This paper describes the design and design issues associated with silicon surface micromachined device design Some of the tools described are adaptations of macro analysis tools. Design issues in the microdomain differ greatly from design issues encountered in the macrodomain. Microdomain forces caused by electrostatic attraction, surface tension, Van der Walls forces, and others can be more significant than inertia, friction, or gravity. Design and analysis tools developed for macrodomain devices are inadequate in most cases for microdomain devices. Microdomain specific design and analysis tools are being developed, but are still immature and lack adequate functionality. The fundamental design process for surface micromachined devices is significantly different than the design process employed in the design of macro-sized devices. In this paper, MEMS design will be discussed as well as the tools used to develop the designs and the issues relating fabrication processes to design. Design and analysis of MEMS devices is directly coupled to the silicon micromachining processes used to fabricate the devices. These processes introduce significant design limitations and must be well understood before designs can be successfully developed. In addition, some silicon micromachining fabrication processes facilitate the integration of silicon micromachines with microelectronics on-chip. For devices requiring on-chip electronics, the fabrication processes introduce additional design constraints that must be taken into account during design and analysis.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Davies, B.R.; Rodgers, M.S. & Montague, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Designing microelectromechanical systems-on-a-chip in a 5-level surface micromachine technology

Description: A new 5-level polysilicon surface micromachine process has been developed that offers significantly increased system complexity, while further promoting the manufacturability and reliability of microscopic mechanical systems. In general, as complexity increases, reliability suffers. This is not necessarily the case, however, with MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS). In fact, utilizing additional levels of polysilicon in structures can greatly increase yield, reliability, and robustness. Surface micromachine devices are built thousands at a time using the infrastructure developed to support the incredibly reliable microelectronics industry, and the batch fabrication process utilized in the 5-level technology further increases reliability and reduces cost by totally eliminating post assembly.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Rodgers, M.S. & Sniegowski, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

5-level polysilicon surface micromachine technology: Application to complex mechanical systems

Description: The authors recently reported on the development of a 5-level poly-ilicon surface micromachine fabrication process consisting of four levels of mechanical poly plus an electrical interconnect layer. They are now reporting on the first components designed for and fabricated in this process. These are demonstration systems, which definitively show that five levels of polysilicon provide greater performance, reliability, and significantly increased functionality. This new technology makes it possible to realize levels of system complexity that have so far only existed on paper, while simultaneously adding to the robustness of many of the individual subassemblies.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Rodgers, M. S. & Sniegowski, J. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Single-step assembly of complex 3-D microstructures

Description: This paper describes three-dimensional microstructures fabricated in a planar process and assembled in a single step. Multiple plates are constrained by hinges in such a way as to reduce the assembly process to a single degree-of-freedom of motion. Serial microassembly of these structures is simpler; moreover, self-assembly using hydrodynamic forces during release is much more feasible than with earlier, multiple degree-of-freedom hinged structures. A 250-{micro}m corner cube reflector, a 6-sided closed box, and a 3-D model of the Berkeley Campanile clock tower have been demonstrated in the 4-level polysilicon SUMMiT MEMS foundry.
Date: January 4, 2000
Creator: Hui, E.E.; Howe, R.T. & Rodgers, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced micromechanisms in a multi-level polysilicon technology

Description: Quad-level polysilicon surface micromachining technology, comprising three mechanical levels plus an electrical interconnect layer, is giving rise to a new generation of micro-electromechanical devices and assemblies. Enhanced components can not be produced through greater flexibility in fabrication and design. New levels of design complexity that include multi-level gears, single-attempt locks, and optical elements have recently been realized. Extensive utilization of the fourth layer of polysilicon differentiates these latter generation devices from their predecessors. This level of poly enables the fabrication of pin joints, linkage arms, hinges on moveable plates, and multi-level gear assemblies. The mechanical design aspects of these latest micromachines will be discussed with particular emphasis on a number of design aspects of these latest micromachines will be discussed with particular emphasis on a number of design modifications that improve the power, reliability, and smoothness of operation of the microengine. The microengine is the primary actuation mechanism that is being used to drive mirrors out of plane and rotate 1600-{mu}m diameter gears. Also discussed is the authors most advanced micromechanical system to date, a complex proof-of-concept batch-fabricated assembly that, upon transmitting the proper electrical code to a mechanical lock, permits the operation of a micro-optical shutter.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Rodgers, M.S.; Sniegowski, J.J.; Miller, S.L.; Barron, C.C. & McWhorter, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SAMPLE (Sandia Agile MEMS Prototyping, Layout tools, and Education)

Description: The SAMPLE (Sandia Agile MEMS Protyping, Layout tools, and Education) service makes Sandia`s state-of-the-art surface-micromachining fabrication process, known as SUMMiT, available to US industry for the first time. The service provides a short cause and customized computer-aided design (CAD) tools to assist customers in designing micromachine prototypes to be fabricated in SUMMiT. Frequent small-scale manufacturing runs then provide SAMPLE designers with hundreds of sophisticated MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) chips. SUMMiT (Sandia Ultra-planar, Multi-level MEMS Technology) offers unique surface-micromachining capabilities, including four levels of polycrystalline silicon (including the ground layer), flanged hubs, substrate contacts, one-micron design rules, and chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) planarization. This paper describes the SUMMiT process, design tools, and other information relevant to the SAMPLE service and SUMMiT process.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Davies, B.R.; Barron, C.C.; Sniegowski, J.J. & Rodgers, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Designing and operating electrostatically driven microengines

Description: Microelectromechanical engines that convert the linear outputs from dual orthogonal electrostatic actuators to rotary motion were first developed in 1993. Referred to as microengines, these early devices demonstrated the potential of microelectromechanical technology, but, as expected from any first-of-its-kind device, were not yet optimized. Yield was relatively low, and the 10 micronewtons of force generated by the actuators was not always enough to ensure reliable operation. Since initial development, these engines have undergone a continuous series of significant improvements on three separate fronts: design, fabrication, and electrical activation. Although all three areas will be discussed, emphasis will be on aspects related to mechanical design and generation of the electrical waveforms used to drive these devices. Microtransmissions that dramatically increase torque will also be discussed. Electrostatically driven microengines can be operated at hundreds of thousands of revolutions per minute making large gear reduction ratios feasible; overall ratios of 3,000,000:1 have been successfully demonstrated. Today`s microengines have evolved into high endurance (one test device has seen over 7,000,000,000 revolutions), high yield, robust devices that have become the primary actuation source for MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) at Sandia National Laboratories.
Date: February 1, 1998
Creator: Rodgers, M.S.; Sniegowski, J.J.; Miller, S.L. & LaVigne, G.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gas-driven microturbine

Description: This paper describes an invention which relates to microtechnology and the fabrication process for developing microelectrical systems. It describes a means for fabricating a gas-driven microturbine capable of providing autonomous propulsion in which the rapidly moving gases are directed through a micromachined turbine to power devices by direct linkage or turbo-electric generators components in a domain ranging from tenths of micrometers to thousands of micrometers.
Date: June 27, 1996
Creator: Sniegowski, J.J.; Rodgers, M.S.; McWhorter, P.J.; Aeschliman, D.P. & Miller, W.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monolithic geared-mechanisms driven by a polysilicon surface-micromachined on-chip electrostatic microengine

Description: We have previously described a practical micromachined power source: the polysilicon, surface-micromachined, electrostatically actuated microengine. Here we report on 3 aspects of implementing the microengine. First, we discuss demonstrations of the first-generation microengine actuating geared micromechanisms including gear trains with elements having dimensions comparable to the drive gear (about 50 {mu}m) and a relatively large (1600-{mu}m-diameter) rotating optical shutter element. These configurations span expected operating extremes for the microengine and address the coupling and loading issues for very-low-aspect-ratio micromechanisms which are common to the design of surface-micromachined devices. Second, we report on a second-generation of designs that utilize improved gear teeth design, a gear speed-reduction unit, and higher force-per-unit-area electrostatic comb drives. The speed-reduction unit produces an overall angular speed reduction of 9.63 and requires dual-level compound gears. Third, we discuss a dynamics model developed to accomplish 3 objectives: drive inertial loads in a controlled fashion, minimize stress and frictional forces during operation, and determine as a function of time the forces associated with the drive gear (eg load torque on drive gear from friction).
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Sniegowski, J.J.; Miller, S.L.; LaVigne, G.F.; Rodgers, M.S. & McWhorter, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Failure modes in surface micromachined microelectromechanical actuators

Description: In order for the rapidly emerging field of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) to meet its extraordinary expectations regarding commercial impact, issues pertaining to how they fail must be understood. The authors identify failure modes common to a broad range of MEMS actuators, including adhesion (stiction) and friction induced failures caused by improper operational methods, mechanical instabilities, and electrical instabilities. Demonstrated methods to mitigate these failure modes include implementing optimized designs, model based operational methods, and chemical surface treatments.
Date: March 1, 1998
Creator: Miller, S.L.; Rodgers, M.S.; LaVigne, G.; Sniegowski, J.J.; Clews, P.; Tanner, D.M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Routes to failure in rotating MEMS devices experiencing sliding friction

Description: Gear systems rotating on hubs have been operated to failure using Sandia`s microengine as the actuation device. Conventional failure modes such as fatigue induced fracture did not occur, indicating that the devices are mechanically extremely robust. The generic route to failure observed for all rotating devices involves sticking of structures that are in sliding contact. This sticking evidently results from microscopic changes in the sliding surfaces during operation. The rate at which these changes occur is accelerated by excessive applied forces, which originate from non-optimized designs or inappropriate drive voltages. Precursors to failure are observed, enabling further understanding of the microscopic changes that occur in the sliding surfaces that ultimately lead to failure.
Date: August 1, 1997
Creator: Miller, S.L.; LaVigne, G.; Rodgers, M.S.; Sniegowski, J.J.; Waters, J.P. & McWhorter, P.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intricate Mechanisms-on-a Chip Enabled by 5-Level Surface Micromachining

Description: Surface micromachining generally offers more design freedom than related technologies, and it is the technology of choice for most microelectromechanical applications that require multi-level structures. However, the design flexibility that surface micromachining offers is not without limitations. In addition to determining how to fabricate devices in a planar world, the designer also needs to consider issues such as film quality, thickness, residual stress, topography propagation, stringers, processing limitations, and concerns about surface adhesion [1]. Only a few years ago, these were the types of issues that limited design complexity. As the technology improved, the number of mechanical layers available to the designer became the dominant constraint on system functionality. In response, we developed a 5-level polysilicon fabrication technology [2] that offers an unprecedented level of microelectromechanical complexity with simultaneous increases in system yield and robustness. This paper outlines the application that was the driving force behind this work and describes the first devices specifically designed for and fabricated in this technology. The 5-level fabrication technology developed to support this program is known as SUMMiT-V. Four mechanical layers of polysilicon referred to as polyl, poly2, poly3, and poly4 are fabricated above a polyO electrical interconnect and ground plane layer [2,4]. PolyO is 0.3 pm thick, polyl is 1.0 pm, poly 2 is 1.5 pm, and both poly3 and poly4 are 2.25 pm. All films except polyl and poly2 are separated by 2-pm thick depositions of sacrificial oxide. A 0.5-m sacrificial oxide between polyl and poly2 typically defines the clearance between close mating parts such as hubs and hinges. This entire stack is built on a single crystal substrate with a dielectric foundation of 0.8 pm of nitride over 0.63 m of oxide. Seventeen drawing layer are combined to generate the 14 photolithographic masks used to pattern these films during a 240-step ...
Date: March 30, 1999
Creator: Allen, J.J.; McWhorter, P.J.; Miller, S.L.; Rodgers, M.S.; Smith, J.H. & Sniegowski, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sandia Agile MEMS Prototyping, Layout Tools, Education and Services Program

Description: Research and development in the design and manufacture of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) is growing at an enormous rate. Advances in MEMS design tools and fabrication processes at Sandia National Laboratories` Microelectronics Development Laboratory (MDL) have broadened the scope of MEMS applications that can be designed and manufactured for both military and commercial use. As improvements in micromachining fabrication technologies continue to be made, MEMS designs can become more complex, thus opening the door to an even broader set of MEMS applications. In an effort to further research and development in MEMS design, fabrication, and application, Sandia National Laboratories has launched the Sandia Agile MEMS Prototyping, Layout Tools, Education and Services Program or SAMPLES program. The SAMPLES program offers potential partners interested in MEMS the opportunity to prototype an idea and produce hardware that can be used to sell a concept. The SAMPLES program provides education and training on Sandia`s design tools, analysis tools and fabrication process. New designers can participate in the SAMPLES program and design MEMS devices using Sandia`s design and analysis tools. As part of the SAMPLES program, participants` designs are fabricated using Sandia`s 4 level polycrystalline silicon surface micromachine technology fabrication process known as SUMMiT (Sandia Ultra-planar, Multi-level MEMS Technology). Furthermore, SAMPLES participants can also opt to obtain state of the art, post-fabrication services provided at Sandia such as release, packaging, reliability characterization, and failure analysis. This paper discusses the components of the SAMPLES program.
Date: May 1, 1998
Creator: Schriner, H.; Davies, B.; Sniegowski, J.; Rodgers, M.S.; Allen, J. & Shepard, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microelectro-optical devices in a 5-level polysilicon surface micromachining technology

Description: The authors recently reported on the development of a 5-level polysilicon surface micromachine fabrication process consisting of four levels of mechanical poly plus an electrical interconnect layer and its application to complex mechanical systems. This paper describes the application of this technology to create micro-optical systems-on-a-chip. These are demonstration systems, which show that five levels of polysilicon provide greater performance, reliability, and significantly increased functionality. This new technology makes it possible to realize levels of system complexity that have so far only existed on paper, while simultaneously adding to the robustness of many of the individual subassemblies.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Smith, J.H.; Rodgers, M.S.; Sniegowski, J.J.; Miller, S.L.; Hetherington, D.; McWhorter, P.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micromachined Systems-on-a-Chip: Infrastructure, Technology and Applications

Description: A review is made of the infrastructure, technology and capabilities of Sandia National Laboratories for the development of micromechanical systems that have potential space applications. By incorporating advanced fabrication processes, such as chemical mechanical polishing, and several mechanical polysilicon levels, the range' of rrticromechanical systems that can be fabricated in these technologies is virtually limitless. Representative applications include a micro- engine driven mirror, and a micromachined lock. Using a novel integrated MEM!YCMOS technology, a six degree-of-freedom accelerometer/gyroscope system has been designed by researchers at U.C. Berkeley and fabricated on the same silicon chip as the CMOS control circuits to produce an integrated micro-navigational unit.
Date: October 9, 1998
Creator: Allen, J.J.; Krygowski, T.W.; Miller, S.L.; Montague, S.; Rodgers, M.S.; Schriner, H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The integration of surface micromachined devices with optoelectronics: Technology and applications

Description: Sandia National Laboratories has a substantial effort in development of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technologies. This miniaturization capability can lead to low-cost, small, high-performance systems-on-a-chip, and have many applications ranging from advanced military systems to large-volume commercial markets like automobiles, rf or land-based communications networks and equipment, or commercial electronics. One of the key challenges in realization of the microsystem is integration of several technologies including digital electronics; analog and rf electronics, optoelectronics, sensors and actuators, and advanced packaging technologies. In this work they describe efforts in integrating MEMS and optoelectronic or photonic functions and the fabrication constraints on both system components. the MEMS technology used in this work are silicon surface-machined systems fabricated using the SUMMiT (Sandia Ultraplanar Multilevel MEMS Technology) process developed at Sandia. This process includes chemical-mechanical polishing as an intermediate planarization step to allow the use of 4 or 5 levels of polysilicon.
Date: April 1, 1998
Creator: Warren, M.E.; Blum, O.; Sullivan, C.T.; Shul, R.J.; Rodgers, M.S. & Sniegowski, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-Level Micromachined Systems-on-a-Chip: Technology and Applications

Description: Researchers at Sandia have recently designed and built several research prototypes, which demonstrate that truly complex mechanical systems can now be realized in a surface micromachined technology. These MicroElectro- Mechanical Systems (MEMS) include advanced actuators, torque multiplying gear tmins, rack and pinion assemblies, positionable mirrors, and mechanical discriminators. All of tile mechanical components are batch fabricated on a single chip of silicon using the infrastructure origimdly developed to support today's highly reliabk; and robust microelectronics industry. Sand ia is also developing the technology 10 integrate microelectronic circuits onto the s,ime piece of silicon that is used to fabricate the MEMS devices. This significantly increases sensitivity and reliability, while fhrther reducing package size and fabrication costs. A review of the MEMS technology and capabilities available at Sandia National Laboratories is presented.
Date: October 27, 1998
Creator: Allen, J.J.; Krygowski, T.W.; Miller, S.L.; Montague, S.; Rodgers, M.S.; Smith, J.H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Infrastructure, Technology and Applications of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

Description: A review is made of the infrastructure, technology and capabilities of Sandia National Laboratories for the development of micromechanical systems. By incorporating advanced fabrication processes, such as chemical mechanical polishing, and several mechanical polysilicon levels, the range of micromechanical systems that can be fabricated in these technologies is virtually limitless. Representative applications include a micro-engine driven mirror, and a micromachined lock. Using a novel integrated MEMS/CMOS technology, a six degree-of-freedom accelerometer/gyroscope system has been designed by researchers at U.C. Berkeley and fabricated on the same silicon chip as the CMOS control circuits to produce an integrated micro-navigational unit.
Date: July 9, 1999
Creator: Allen, J.J.; Jakubczak, J.F.; Krygowski, T.W.; Miller, S.L.; Montague, S.; Rodgers, M.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Properties and characterization of thin film ferroelectric capacitors for nonvolatile memories

Description: Thin film ferroelectric materials are the basis for a new, promising IC nonvolatile memory technology. The primary material being studied for ferroelectric memories is PZT. One of the key factors in determining the feasibility of PZT ferroelectric memories for weapon or space applications is whether PZT ferroelectric technology can be integrated into a radiation-hardened CMOS or bipolar process. Sandia National Laboratories has a program to study ferroelectric/CMOS process integration issues. The primary goal of this program is to determine if radiation-hardened reliable ferroelectric/CMOS IC memories can be fabricated. This program includes both the fabrication and characterization of ferroelectric test capacitors. In this paper we will give a brief overview of the program, discuss techniques developed to characterize ferroelectric devices for retention and endurance, and give results on studies of fatigue and retention of capacitors.
Date: January 1, 1990
Creator: Nasby, R.D.; Schwank, J.R.; Rodgers, M.S.; Miller, S.L.; Tuttle, B.A.; Liang, A.Y. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Linkage design effect on the reliability of surface micromachined microengines driving a load

Description: The reliability of microengines is a function of the design of the mechanical linkage used to connect the electrostatic actuator to the drive. The authors have completed a series of reliability stress tests on surface micromachined microengines driving an inertial load. In these experiments, the authors used microengines that had pin mechanisms with guides connecting the drive arms to the electrostatic actuators. Comparing this data to previous results using flexure linkages revealed that the pin linkage design was less reliable. The devices were stressed to failure at eight frequencies, both above and below the measured resonance frequency of the microengine. Significant amounts of wear debris were observed both around the hub and pin joint of the drive gear. Additionally, wear tracks were observed in the area where the moving shuttle rubbed against the guides of the pin linkage. At each frequency, they analyzed the statistical data yielding a lifetime (t{sub 50}) for median cycles to failure and {sigma}, the shape parameter of the distribution. A model was developed to describe the failure data based on fundamental wear mechanisms and forces exhibited in mechanical resonant systems. The comparison to the model will be discussed.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Tanner, D.M.; Peterson, K.A.; Irwin, L.W.; Tangyunyong, P.; Miller, W.M.; Eaton, W.P. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department