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Mechanical stability and adhesion of microstructures under capillary forces. I. Basic theory

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2 Author(s)
Mastrangelo, C.H. ; Dept. of Micro-Sensors & Actuators, Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI, USA ; Hsu, C.H.

Strong capillary forces are developed in the fabrication process of surface micromachined structures during the wet etch of sacrificial layers. The magnitude of these forces is in some cases sufficient to deform and pin these structures to the substrate resulting in device failure. The deflection, mechanical stability, and adhesion of thin micromechanical structure under capillary forces are examined. These phenomena are divided into two separate stages of mechanical collapse and adhesion to the underlying substrate. The basic theory of collapse is described. Approximate conditions are computed to prevent contact to the substrate

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )