Nanocharacterization of the adhesion effect and bending stiffness in optical MEMS

Research paper by Marius Pustan, Corina Birleanu, Cristian Dudescu

Indexed on: 10 Mar '17Published on: 05 Dec '16Published in: Applied Surface Science


The scope of this paper is the reliability design and testing of flexible MEMS components as clamp-clamp beams for the out-of-plane displacement. The field of implementation of such structures is in optical relevant applications such as the optical microsensors or optical microswitches. Moreover these structures can be successfully implemented in RF switches or in the other MEMS applications. The research studies presented in this paper consider the analytical and numerical analysis follow by the experimental validation. The mechanical and tribological characteristics such as the sample static response under an applied force and the adhesion effect between the flexible structure and substrate are investigated. The samples under test are fabricated from a reflective material – gold. Experimental investigations are performed by atomic force microscopy in order to determine the response of the gold microbridges under an applied force. Moreover, to identify the proper geometry that is less sensitive to a thermal gradient, different geometrical configurations of microbridges are tested under different temperatures. An etalon structure is considered as a reference beam and it is compared with the other samples fabricated in the same geometrical dimensions but with some additional rectangular holes performed on the flexible plate. The scope of holes is to reduce the temperature influence on the mechanical behaviour of clamp-clamp beam from application where a thermal gradient occurs. During numerical analysis and experimental investigations, the temperature of samples is increased from 20 °C to 100 °C and the sample response is monitored. A comparison between numerical and experimental results is provided at the end of paper. The research results are useful for designers to predict the behaviour of material and structure from optical or thermal applications in order to improve the reliability and the MEMS lifetime.

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