(161c) A Test Platform for Systematic Investigation of Surface Phenomena in MEMS | AIChE

(161c) A Test Platform for Systematic Investigation of Surface Phenomena in MEMS


Ansari, N. - Presenter, Auburn University
Ashurst, W. R. - Presenter, Auburn University

Strong adhesion, friction and wear are the major obstacles on the road to commercialization of MEMS devices. Investigating the fundamental mechanisms involved in these surface phenomena is critical to many basic and applied problems in the field of micro- and nano- technology. This paper presents a test platform for investigating the mechanisms involved in surface interactions between two contacting surfaces.The test platform is built on (relatively smooth) SOI wafer in order to reduce the influence of roughness of contacting surfaces on surface properties, to facilitate a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms involved. To achieve consistent results and eleminate the influence of fabrication process variations on surface properties, the test platform includes several different micromechanisms on the same chip to systematically investigate surface properties. Microinstruments to determine structural properties are also incorporated to provide the capability of direct measurement of necessary device parameters. The test platform facilitates the understanding of interactions and the factors that influence the interactions between two contacting MEMS surfaces. It can aslo be used to study the effect of the strategies that are used to improve the reliability of MEMS devices on the surface properties of contacting MEMS surfaces.