Micross

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Low-Temperature Indium Bonding for MEMS Devices
Keywords: MEMS, Indium, low-temperature bonding
Low–temperature bonding techniques are of great importance in fabricating MEMS devices, and especially for sealing microfluidic MEMS devices that require encapsulation of a liquid. Although fusion, thermocompression, anodic and eutectic bonding have been successfully used in fabricating MEMS devices, they require temperatures higher than the boiling point of commonly used fluids in MEMS devices such as water, alcohols and ammonia. Although adhesives and glues have been successfully used in this application, they may contaminate the fluid in the MEMS device or the fluid may prevent suitable bonding. Indium (In) possesses the unusual property of being cold weldable. At room temperature, two sufficiently clean In surfaces can be cold welded by bringing them into contact with sufficient force. The bonding technique developed here consists of coating and patterning one Si wafer with 500A Ti, 300A Ni and 1µm In through electron beam evaporation. A second wafer is metallized and patterned with a 500A Ti and 1µm Cu by electron beam evaporation and then electroplated with 10µm of In. Before the In coated sections are brought into contact, the In surfaces are chemically cleaned to remove indium-oxide. Then the sections are brought into contact and held under sufficient pressure to cold weld the sections together. Using this technique, MEMS water-filled and mercury-filled microheatpipes were successfully fabricated and tested. Additionally, this microfabrication technique is useful for fabricating other types of MEMS devices that are limited to low-temperature microfabrication processes.
Daniel Harris, Associate Professor
Auburn University
Auburn, AL
USA


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