Title: Recent developments in experimental on-chip stiction research: a review

Authors: W. Merlijn Van Spengen

Addresses: Leiden University, LION, P.O. Box 9504, Leiden 2300RA, The Netherlands

Abstract: Release-related stiction problems in Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) have been solved almost completely by the use of CO2 drying and vapour-phase HF etching, but in-use stiction still poses a reliability threat to these tiny machines. In this paper, a review is presented of the recent work on the experimental investigation of adhesion forces in MEMS. The Cantilever Beam Array (CBA) technique and its derivatives (two-sides clamped, arc-shaped, S-shaped, electrostatic actuation, sidewall contacts) is discussed first. Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) studies can be used to obtain a more accurate physical picture of nanoscale adhesion, but suffer from the fact that the contact geometry is not exactly the same as a true MEMS contact. Emphasis is placed on new techniques that can be used to investigate stiction between MEMS surfaces in situ dynamically on-chip by means of dedicated MEMS devices. Combination of these techniques with AFM is especially promising, as is the application of these techniques to microscale friction research.

Keywords: on-chip stiction; adhesion forces; MEMS; microelectromechanical systems; microsystems; in situ measurements; on-chip measurements; reliability; microscale friction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCMSSE.2009.027482

International Journal of Computational Materials Science and Surface Engineering, 2009 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.186 - 207

Published online: 28 Jul 2009 *

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