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The MEMSNAS process: microloading effect for micromachining 3-D structures of nearly all shapes

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3 Author(s)
Bourouina, T. ; Ecole Superieure d''Ingenieurs en Electrotechnique et Electronique, ESIEE, Noisy-Le-Grand, France ; Masuzawa, T. ; Fujita, H.

We propose a technological process for microfabrication of three-dimensional (3-D) structures with nearly all shapes. This is a one-mask process that uses equipment, widespread in the microelectronics laboratories and industry. The main idea is to take advantage from the microloading effect of reactive ion etching (RIE) in order to obtain multiple levels of heights in an array of microholes of different diameters. A 3-D profile results from an overlap of the neighboring microholes due to the isotropic nature of the etching. The final continuous and smooth 3-D structure is obtained after removal of the mask material and a second isotropic RIE step. This fabrication process was validated with the realization of various 3-D structures including microlenses, etched in a 30 μm deep cavity, with 375 μm in radius and 10 μm in height (sag). The resulting structures have shown a roughness down to 25 nm. A quantitative experimental study led to the calibration of three different processes and to an empirical theoretical model, which can serve as a basis of design rules for further fabrication of 3-D microstructures.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 2 )