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Optimization of mechanical properties of thin free-standing metal films for RF-MEMS

  • Jaap M.J. den Toonder (a1) (a2) and Auke R. van Dijken (a1)


The mechanical properties of the thin film materials used in RF-MEMS are crucial for the reliability and proper functioning of the devices. In this paper we study a large number of aluminum alloys as possible RF-MEMS thin film materials. The yield strength and creep properties are measured using nano-indentation. The results show that the mechanical properties of thin aluminum films can be improved substantially by alloying elements. Of the alloys studied in this paper, AlCuMgMn in particular seems quite promising as a thin film material for RF MEMS, having both high yield strength and little creep. Using X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy, the observed effects are partly explained.



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