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Title: Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors

Abstract

This report describes a new microsystems technology for the creation of microsensors and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using stress-free amorphous diamond (aD) films. Stress-free aD is a new material that has mechanical properties close to that of crystalline diamond, and the material is particularly promising for the development of high sensitivity microsensors and rugged and reliable MEMS. Some of the unique properties of aD include the ability to easily tailor film stress from compressive to slightly tensile, hardness and stiffness 80-90% that of crystalline diamond, very high wear resistance, a hydrophobic surface, extreme chemical inertness, chemical compatibility with silicon, controllable electrical conductivity from insulating to conducting, and biocompatibility. A variety of MEMS structures were fabricated from this material and evaluated. These structures included electrostatically-actuated comb drives, micro-tensile test structures, singly- and doubly-clamped beams, and friction and wear test structures. It was found that surface micromachined MEMS could be fabricated in this material easily and that the hydrophobic surface of the film enabled the release of structures without the need for special drying procedures or the use of applied hydrophobic coatings. Measurements using these structures revealed that aD has a Young's modulus of {approx}650 GPa, a tensile fracture strength of 8 GPa,more » and a fracture toughness of 8 MPa{center_dot}m {sup 1/2}. These results suggest that this material may be suitable in applications where stiction or wear is an issue. Flexural plate wave (FPW) microsensors were also fabricated from aD. These devices use membranes of aD as thin as {approx}100 nm. The performance of the aD FPW sensors was evaluated for the detection of volatile organic compounds using ethyl cellulose as the sensor coating. For comparable membrane thicknesses, the aD sensors showed better performance than silicon nitride based sensors. Greater than one order of magnitude increase in chemical sensitivity is expected through the use of ultra-thin aD membranes in the FPW sensor. The discoveries and development of the aD microsystems technology that were made in this project have led to new research projects in the areas of aD bioMEMS and aD radio frequency MEMS.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
800990
Report Number(s):
SAND2002-1755
TRN: US200224%%160
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 2002
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 42 ENGINEERING; AMORPHOUS STATE; DIAMONDS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; FRACTURE PROPERTIES; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; MEMBRANES; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; SENSITIVITY; SILICON NITRIDES; WEAR RESISTANCE; MINIATURIZATION; MICROELECTRONICS

Citation Formats

SULLIVAN, JOHN P, FRIEDMANN, THOMAS A, ASHBY, CAROL I, DE BOER, MAARTEN P, SCHUBERT, W KENT, SHUL, RANDY J, HOHLFELDER, ROBERT J, and LAVAN, D A. Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors. United States: N. p., 2002. Web. doi:10.2172/800990.
SULLIVAN, JOHN P, FRIEDMANN, THOMAS A, ASHBY, CAROL I, DE BOER, MAARTEN P, SCHUBERT, W KENT, SHUL, RANDY J, HOHLFELDER, ROBERT J, & LAVAN, D A. Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors. United States. doi:10.2172/800990.
SULLIVAN, JOHN P, FRIEDMANN, THOMAS A, ASHBY, CAROL I, DE BOER, MAARTEN P, SCHUBERT, W KENT, SHUL, RANDY J, HOHLFELDER, ROBERT J, and LAVAN, D A. Sat . "Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors". United States. doi:10.2172/800990. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/800990.
@article{osti_800990,
title = {Amorphous Diamond MEMS and Sensors},
author = {SULLIVAN, JOHN P and FRIEDMANN, THOMAS A and ASHBY, CAROL I and DE BOER, MAARTEN P and SCHUBERT, W KENT and SHUL, RANDY J and HOHLFELDER, ROBERT J and LAVAN, D A},
abstractNote = {This report describes a new microsystems technology for the creation of microsensors and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) using stress-free amorphous diamond (aD) films. Stress-free aD is a new material that has mechanical properties close to that of crystalline diamond, and the material is particularly promising for the development of high sensitivity microsensors and rugged and reliable MEMS. Some of the unique properties of aD include the ability to easily tailor film stress from compressive to slightly tensile, hardness and stiffness 80-90% that of crystalline diamond, very high wear resistance, a hydrophobic surface, extreme chemical inertness, chemical compatibility with silicon, controllable electrical conductivity from insulating to conducting, and biocompatibility. A variety of MEMS structures were fabricated from this material and evaluated. These structures included electrostatically-actuated comb drives, micro-tensile test structures, singly- and doubly-clamped beams, and friction and wear test structures. It was found that surface micromachined MEMS could be fabricated in this material easily and that the hydrophobic surface of the film enabled the release of structures without the need for special drying procedures or the use of applied hydrophobic coatings. Measurements using these structures revealed that aD has a Young's modulus of {approx}650 GPa, a tensile fracture strength of 8 GPa, and a fracture toughness of 8 MPa{center_dot}m {sup 1/2}. These results suggest that this material may be suitable in applications where stiction or wear is an issue. Flexural plate wave (FPW) microsensors were also fabricated from aD. These devices use membranes of aD as thin as {approx}100 nm. The performance of the aD FPW sensors was evaluated for the detection of volatile organic compounds using ethyl cellulose as the sensor coating. For comparable membrane thicknesses, the aD sensors showed better performance than silicon nitride based sensors. Greater than one order of magnitude increase in chemical sensitivity is expected through the use of ultra-thin aD membranes in the FPW sensor. The discoveries and development of the aD microsystems technology that were made in this project have led to new research projects in the areas of aD bioMEMS and aD radio frequency MEMS.},
doi = {10.2172/800990},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2002},
month = {Sat Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2002}
}

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