Recent studies have elucidated a promising balance of physical and mechanical properties of sputter deposited nickel-molybdenum-tungsten (Ni-Mo-W) films that have a unique nanotwinned microstructure and promising potential for use in high temperature microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The current study was undertaken to establish the feasibility of making nanotwinned Ni-Mo-W microcantilevers with standard microfabrication processing, to assess their dimensional stability, and to demonstrate the possibility of using nanotwinned Ni-Mo-W in metal MEMS devices. Deposition of Ni-Mo-W films in commercial sputtering chambers revealed a wide processing window for the formation of the requisite nanotwinned microstructure. Conventional photolithography and etchants were employed to shape blanket Ni-Mo-W films into freestanding microcantilever beams. Monitoring microcantilever deflections via interferometry provided a direct measure of residual stresses and overall dimensional stability. Heat treatments of 200°C and 400°C were used to mimic wafer bonding temperatures. At 400°C, microcantilevers exhibited modest stress relaxation, yielding beam deflection profiles on the nanometer scale and portending dimensional stability and control for future metal MEMS devices.
- microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
- nickel alloys
- sputter deposition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering