In order to integrate micro actuators with III-V semiconductor devices, we have devised Micro-Electro-Mechanical devices (MEM's), constructed from materials and processes common to existing III-V device processing. These processes are substantially different from silicon based processes because of the requirements for low temperature processing and the use of gold-based metallizations.
Our material choices include, vacuum deposited and plated metal films, silicon oxide and nitride dielectric layers, and polyimide layers and structures. Sacrificial layers are implemented with photoresist rather than the more common silicon dioxide. The processes available are based on the ‘lift off’ of unwanted areas of the metal films, wet plating of metals through openings in photoresist masks, and wet and plasma etching of metals and dielectrics.
This paper will discuss why we are using these materials, the process constraints imposed by the materials, the measurement of some of the material properties, and will relate some progress in applications.