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Selective W for Coating and Releasing MEMS Devices

  • S. S. Mani (a1), J. G. Fleming, J. J. Sniegowski, M. P. de Boer, L. W. Irwin, J. A. Walraven, D. M. Tanner and D. A. La Van...


Two major problems associated with Si-based MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) devices are stiction and wear. Surface modifications are needed to reduce both adhesion and friction in micromechanical structures to solve these problems. In this paper, we will present a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process that selectively coats MEMS devices with tungsten and significantly enhances device durability. Tungsten CVD is used in the integrated-circuit industry, which makes this approach manufacturable. This selective deposition process results in a very conformal coating and can potentially address both stiction and wear problems confronting MEMS processing. The selective deposition of tungsten is accomplished through the silicon reduction of WF6. The self-limiting nature of this selective W deposition process ensures the consistency necessary for process control. The tungsten is deposited after the removal of the sacrificial oxides to minimize stress and process integration problems. Tungsten coating adheres well and is hard and conducting, requirements for device performance. Furthermore, since the deposited tungsten infiltrates under adhered silicon parts and the volume of W deposited is less than the amount of Si consumed, it appears to be possible to release stuck parts that are contacted over small areas such as dimples. The wear resistance of selectively coated W parts has been shown to be significantly improved on microengine test structures.



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