(542a) Nanoparticle/Self-Assembled Monolayer Composite Coatings to Improve MEMS Reliability | AIChE

(542a) Nanoparticle/Self-Assembled Monolayer Composite Coatings to Improve MEMS Reliability


Hurst, K. M. - Presenter, Auburn University
Ashurst, W. R. - Presenter, Auburn University

Due to persistent reliability issues such as strong adhesion, high friction and structural wear only the most basic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are currently used in commercial applications. Several approaches have been examined to overcome the inherent forces which can lead to stiction and friction related problems and device failure. Previous studies have focused on chemically altering silicon-based microstructure surfaces via self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) in order to change the chemical nature of adhesion and friction. While these SAM coatings have provided reduced adhesion and coefficients of friction between two contacting microstructures, SAM formation processes using organic molecular precursors are limited by high reaction sensitivity and low reproducibility. Another approach to overcome inherent attractive forces which cause adhesion and friction is to reduce the real area of contact between two contacting microstructures by increasing the surface roughness. Our previous work has illustrated that ligand-stabilized gold nanoparticles can be conformally deposited onto all surfaces of a micromachine or microdevice using a CO2-expanded liquid/supercritical drying process. These fundamentally new nanoparticle coatings were shown to effectively increase the surface roughness of polysilicon microstructures, thereby, reducing the adhesion of contacting structures by four orders of magnitude. However, under further examination these gold nanoparticle coatings were not robust as particles were easily translated along the surfaces when contact was made eventually leading to microstructure adhesion. In this work, 3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPTS) and 3-aminopropyl trimethoxysilane (APTMS) self-assembled monolayers are utilized to attach CO2-expanded liquid deposited gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to the surface of silicon microstructures in attempt to create more robust nanoparticle coatings. MPTS and APTMS have both been demonstrated to attach free thiol and amino groups to metallic nanoparticles such as gold. The AuNP/SAM composite coatings were tested to determine their effect on microstructure adhesion and coefficients of friction.