Advantages and Limitations of Diamond-Like Carbon as a MEMS Thin Film Material

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We can observe from the material properties of Diamond-Like Carbon (DNC) several characteristics can be favourable exploited to make MEMS devices with DNC thin films: Extraordinary yield strength, extraordinary stiffness, high indentation hardness and wear resistance,high thermal conductivity, superior chemical and corrosion resistance, etc. We have developed the following DLC thin film processes that can be combined with silicon MEMS technologies: A Pulsed Cathodic Arc (PCA) process, a physical vapor deposition process for producing ultra-hard amorphous diamond (AD) carbon coatings. The AD coatings have extreme hardness (80-100 GPa), close to that of crystalline diamond. A NanoAmorphous Carbon (NAC) process, giving a new class of multi-functional electronic materials, coatings, with conductivity that can be varied from dielectric to metallic. The films are obtained by Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD). The PECVD-produced film is an amorphous dielectric with a composition consisting of a substantially sp3-bonded carbon network that also contains silicon and oxygen. NAC films can be made electrically conducting by incorporating metals into the carbon matrix by a sputtering process or plasma enhanced physical vapor deposition. The versatility of the NAC process in combination with silicon MEMS process technology is demonstrated by a broadband infrared emitter, now in pilot production.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2008: Materials, Fabrication, Particles, and Characterization – Technical Proceedings of the 2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: June 1, 2008
Pages: 63 - 66
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topic: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices
ISBN: 978-1-4200-8503-7