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Proceedings Paper

Micro-EDM for silicon microstructure fabrication
Author(s): Xiaozhong Song; Dominiek Reynaerts; Wim Meeusen; Hendrik Van Brussel
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Paper Abstract

Currently, most silicon microstructures used in microstructures are produced by photolithographic methods. The reason for this is the well-developed etching technology, used in microelectronics, that has been transferred to the microsystem domain. But since the making of an arbitrary shape or angle on silicon mainly depends on the crystal orientation, some severe limits exist in the production of 3D structures. Electro-discharge machining (EDM) is basically a thermal process. During the EDM process material is removed by electric sparking. It is therefore completely different from etching. In this work, micro-EDM is introduce as a potential approach for solving the above mentioned drawbacks. First, this work presents several testing experiments with different process parameters to investigate the influence of the micro-EDM process on the silicon structure. Main emphasis is put on the surface roughness and on avoiding microcracks generated by the sparking process. It is found that microstructures with a sufficiently low surface roughness and with small microcracks can be produced. The remainder of the work concentrates on making small beam structures, which is a common structure in many microsensor designs. It is found that for a wafer thickness of 650 micrometers , the thinnest beam that can be produced is about 30 micrometers wide. This means that micro-EDM can offer an aspect ratio of 20 in combination with a god dimensional control.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3680, Design, Test, and Microfabrication of MEMS and MOEMS, (10 March 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.341274
Show Author Affiliations
Xiaozhong Song, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Dominiek Reynaerts, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Wim Meeusen, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Hendrik Van Brussel, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3680:
Design, Test, and Microfabrication of MEMS and MOEMS
Bernard Courtois; Wolfgang Ehrfeld; Selden B. Crary; Wolfgang Ehrfeld; Hiroyuki Fujita; Jean Michel Karam; Karen W. Markus, Editor(s)

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