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Traditionally, materials selection has been limited in high-aspect-ratio micromechanical applications, due primarily to the predominance of microfabrication processes and infrastructure dedicated to silicon. While silicon has proven to be an excellent material for many of these applications, no one material can meet the needs of all applications. This is especially evident in biomedical microdevice applications, where the intrinsic brittleness of silicon limits its utility, thus illustrating the need for development of viable alternatives. Titanium is particularly promising in this regard, due to its toughness, biocompatibility, and fatigue resistance. However, lack of sufficient fabrication capability has limited its use in micromechanical systems thus far.
Recently, we reported the development of novel micromachining processes that now enable realization of this promise. These processes, based on plasma etching techniques derived from microelectronics manufacturing, provide for the first time, the capability for fabrication of complex, micrometer-scale, high-aspect-ratio structures in titanium. As such, these processes not only extend the state of the art in titanium micromachining, but also do so in a manner amenable to scaling to low-cost/high-volume manufacturing, due to the economy of scale inherent to the batch-processing paradigm of the microelectronics industry. The focus of this talk will be to detail these processes, their capabilities, and their use in the fabrication of micromechanical devices for optical, RF, and biomedical applications.
The Bindley Bioscience Center
Purdue Discovery Park
The NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing
The Network for Computational Nanotechnology
NCN Student Leadership Council
Department of Chemistry
Department of Physics
School of Chemical Engineering
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
School of Mechanical Engineering
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
(2007), "High-Aspect-Ratio Micromachining of Titanium: Enabling New Functionality and Opportunity in Micromechanical Systems Through Greater Materials Selection," http://nanohub.org/resources/2590.
Birck Nanotechnology Center, Room 1001