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Sidewall morphology of electroformed LIGA parts-implications for friction, adhesion, and wear control

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4 Author(s)
A. C. Hall ; Sandia Nat. Labs., Albuquerque, NM, USA ; M. T. Dugger ; S. V. Prasad ; T. Christensen

LIGA fabricated parts are finding application in a wide variety of micro-mechanical systems. For these systems to operate reliably, friction between contacting sidewall surfaces must be understood and controlled. The roughness of the as-plated sidewall is an important determinate of friction forces at such contacts. LIGA sidewalls were characterized in order to provide a basis for predicting the friction, adhesion, and wear behavior of LIGA micromachines. A variety of unexpected sidewall morphologies were observed during this investigation. Three morphologies were identified: a fine scale roughness, a linear through thickness feature, and a group of larger high aspect ratio features. Each morphology has been associated with a specific aspect of the LIGA manufacturing process. Potential friction, adhesion, and wear management strategies suggested by these features have been discussed. In addition, the asperity behavior in a LIGA sidewall contact has been predicted based on the finest roughness observed.

Published in:

Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 2 )