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Microstereolithography for polymer-based MEMS
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Paper Abstract

Microfabrication techniques such as bulk micromachining and surface micromachining currently employed to conceive MEMS are largely derived from the standard IC and microelectronics technology. Even though many MEMS devices with integrated electronics have been achieved by using the traditional micromachining techniques, some limitations have nevertheless to be underlined: 1) these techniques are very expensive and need specific installations as well as a cleanroom environment, 2) the materials that can be used up to now are restricted to silicon and metals, 3) the manufacture of 3D parts having curved surfaces or an important number of layers is not possible. Moreover, for some biological applications, the materials used for sensors must be compatible with human body and the actuators need to have high strain and displacement which the current silicon based MEMS do not provide. It is thus natural for the researchers to 'look' for alternative methods such as Microstereolithography (MSL) to make 3D sensors and actuators using polymeric based materials. For MSL techniques to be successful as their silicon counterparts, one has to come up with multifunctional polymers with electrical properties comparable to silicon. These multifunctional polymers should not only have a high sensing capability but also a high strain and actuation performance. A novel UV-curable polymer uniformly bonded with functionalized nanotubes was synthesized via a modified three-step in-situ polymerization. Purified multi-walled nanotubes, gained from the microwave chemical vapor deposition method, were functionalized by oxidation. The UV curable polymer was prepared from toluene diisocyanate (TDI), functionalized nanotubes, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The chemical bonds between -NCO groups of TDI and -OH, -COOH groups of functionalized nanotubes help for conceiving polymeric based MEMS devices. A cost effective fabrication techniques was presented using Micro Stereo Lithography and an example of a micropump was also described. The wireless concept of the device has many applications including implanted medical delivery systems, chemical and biological instruments, fluid delivery in engines, pump coolants and refrigerants for local cooling of electronic components.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5055, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (22 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.497459
Show Author Affiliations
Vijay K. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Jining Xie, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5055:
Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology
Vijay K. Varadan; Laszlo B. Kish, Editor(s)

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