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Proceedings Paper

Laser direct write for release of SiO2 MEMS and nano-scale devices
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Paper Abstract

We have developed a novel process for releasing MEMS and nano-scale devices formed in SiO2 on a Si substrate. Current approaches for releasing MEMS made of SiO2 use wet chemical etches (e.g. EDTA or KOH) or gas phase chemical etches such as xenon difluoride. These approaches are inherently messy and difficult to control. We have shown that it is possible to release patterned SiO2 structures using a direct write laser assisted chemical etching technique. The developed process removes Si only from the immediate area leaving behind the SiO2 device. The technique allows the surrounding larger area of the Si wafer to be conserved for use in packaging or integration with electronics. Further, as the release is accomplished in the gas phase, we see none of the problems of "stiction" associated with a liquid etch release process. In fact, we have found this method to be so gentle that we have been able to release devices made from SiO2 films on the order of hundreds of nanometers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5662, Fifth International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication, (8 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.596553
Show Author Affiliations
Margaret H. Abraham, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Henry Helvajian, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5662:
Fifth International Symposium on Laser Precision Microfabrication
Isamu Miyamoto; Henry Helvajian; Kazuyoshi Itoh; Kojiro F. Kobayashi; Andreas Ostendorf; Koji Sugioka, Editor(s)

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