Title: The combination of a laser beam delivered by a water jet to perform deep etching in silicon for MEMS applications

Authors: David Wood, Paul Snowdon

Addresses: School of Engineering, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK. ' School of Engineering, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK

Abstract: One of the key processes in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) is the deep, i.e. through the depth of the wafer, etching in silicon. This can be achieved by chemical, plasma- or laser-based processes. In this paper we report on results obtained by using a fine jet of water to deliver the laser beam, known as the Laser Microjet (LMJ) technique. The process is fast, clean, effective and not hostile to the environment. It is direct write, and highly adaptable to quickly producing structures of variable shapes. Moreover, the LMJ can also etch many other materials, and here we report on GaAs, steel, tantalum, alumina and polymers as examples.

Keywords: deep etching; MEMS; microelectromechanical systems; LMJ; laser microjets; water jets; silicon etching; laser etching.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2009.027481

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2009 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.169 - 185

Published online: 28 Jul 2009 *

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