Tribological and Materials Issues for High Reliability MEMS
Associate Professor-Chem. Engr., University of California at Berkeley
This presentation will consist of two parts. In the first part, the tribological issues in MEMS are discussed. Despite much progress in surface micromachining technology, adhesion, friction and wear (tribology) remain key issues, severely limiting the reliability of many MEMS devices. I will describe the use of molecularly thin organic films as anti-stiction coatings for MEMS. The various classes of organic films explored for MEMS are briefly reviewed. Current shortcomings of these coatings include the serious constraints that they put on MEMS packaging processes, and their susceptibility to wear and to charge build-up. Many applications (such as microswitches) impose demanding requirements, such as high conductivity and resistance to wear. In the second part of my presentation, I describe the integration of silicon carbide as hard coating as well as structural material for high reliability MEMS. I will also discuss possible schemes for selective deposition of high-performance metals in Si-based microdevices.
Roya Maboudian is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Prof. Maboudian's research interests are in the surface and materials engineering of semiconductor devices. Her most recent work has focused on tribological issues in micro- and nanoelectro-mechanical systems and development of novel processes for materials integration for high-performance MEMS/NEMS. She and her group have designed surface processes to reduce adhesion and friction in MEMS. More recently, they have developed new methods to integrate silicon carbide and diamond-like carbon films with MEMS technology. They are also developing schemes for selective deposition of high-performance metals in Si-based micromechanical devices. Prof. Maboudian is the recipient of several awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), NSF Young Investigator award, and the Beckman Young Investigator award.