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Preparation of Superhydrophobic Silica Thin Films for Antistiction of MEMS Devices Using a Novel Sol-Gel Process

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4 Author(s)
Yonghao Xiu ; School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 ; Lingbo Zhu ; Dennis W. Hess ; C. P. Wong

Based on the theory of superhydrophobicity for low surface energy coatings, we describe a superhydrophobic antistiction silica coating for MEMS devices. The process uses a novel sol-gel process sequence with a eutectic liquid as a templating agent. The eutectic liquid displays negligible vapor pressure and very low melting point (12degC at ambient conditions) to reduce solvent loss during the high speed spincoating process. After a fluoroalkyl silane treatment, superhydrophobicity is achieved on the as-prepared silica thin film. The solvent can be extracted after the gelation and aging processes. Spin speed effect, eutectic liquid:TEOS ratio in the solution were systematically studied in order to optimize the surface roughness to ensure excellent super-hydrophobicity. Comparison of the silica thin films with silicon pillar surfaces showed that superhydrophobicity for the traditional sol-gel derived silica films demonstrated significant improvement, especially under humid conditions. The AFM force curve obtained with a tipless probe showed that the interaction force is greatly reduced on a rough silica superhydrophobic surface. This result offers great potential to reduce stiction failures in MEMS devices.

Published in:

2007 Proceedings 57th Electronic Components and Technology Conference

Date of Conference:

May 29 2007-June 1 2007