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Adhesion and friction impacts the reliability of microelectromechanical systems/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) devices. It is essential to study the adhesion and friction properties of the materials that are commonly used in these devices. A novel microtriboapparatus, capable of adopting MEMS components, has been used to perform tribological studies. Calibration of sensors, piezos, and cantilever was performed in this study. The adhesion and friction properties of single-crystal silicon, diamondlike carbon (DLC) films, and hexadecane thiol (HDT) self-assembled monolayers were investigated, and the effect of rest time, velocity, relative humidity, and temperature was studied. The relevant adhesion and friction mechanisms are also discussed. It is found that solid films of DLC and HDT can apparently reduce the adhesion and friction of Si(100). In the case of Si(100), rest time, velocity, relative humidity, and temperature dependence is found, whereas DLC and HDT are insensitive or less sensitive to these parameters. This study suggests that DLC and HDT films can be used as antiadhesion coatings for MEMS/NEMS at different environments and operating conditions.© 2003 American Vacuum Society.
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