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Diamond in MEMS

  1. Feb 6, 2010 #1
    Hi I am doing a research project into the use of diamond in MEMS and I've got a few questions for anyone who knows a bit about this field:

    1) What are the major uses of diamond in MEMS (I haven't found nearly as many as I would have expected)?

    2) Is Microwave plasma CVD the best way for coating elements such as Silicon with diamond in thin film coatings? Is PVD as good as CVD?

    3) Is there any advantage of coating with a carbon-diamond structure rather than fully diamond to get say a finer surface finish and thus less after-machining?

    4) What are the major disadvantages other than cost which can be ignored in this field?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2010 #2
    These are some pretty broad questions you are asking. There are many categories of MEMS and one material might have a particular advantage in optical MEMS that is a disadvantage in BioMEMS. So maybe focusing your research on a particular branch of MEMS technology will help focus your research more.

    Also what research have you done so far? What do you know?

    Here are some good papers on using diamond materials in MEMS

    1) Shibata, T.; Kitamoto, Y.; Unno, K.; Makino, E., "Micromachining of diamond film for MEMS applications," Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of , vol.9, no.1, pp.47-51, Mar 2000

    This describes an AFM tip that uses diamond material structure. Diamond is useful in this application because it help improve the lifetime of the AFM tip.

    2) A. R. Krauss, O. Auciello, D. M. Gruen, A. Jayatissa, A. Sumant, J. Tucek, D. C. Mancini, N. Moldovan, A. Erdemir, D. Ersoy, M. N. Gardos, H. G. Busmann, E. M. Meyer, M. Q. Ding, Ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films for MEMS and moving mechanical assembly devices, Diamond and Related Materials, Volume 10, Issue 11, November 2001, Pages 1952-1961,

    This paper can give you some general advantages that diamond material can have in a MEMS device, though it will be up to you to dig further to determine what technologies these advantages can be applied to.

    3) E. Kohn, P. Gluche, M. Adamschik, Diamond MEMS -- a new emerging technology, Diamond and Related Materials, Volume 8, Issues 2-5, March 1999, Pages 934-940,

    This paper will help you understand some of the trade offs using CVD vs PVD to deposit materials.

    Read through these papers and ask questions based on that research.
  4. Feb 18, 2010 #3
    Cheers for the papers had read one of them already but the other two were very useful,

    Is it true that a resist cannot be used with diamond mems since the main processes for producing a film rely on the CVD method which gives a consistent coating over the entire substrate regardless of a resist?

    Also if DLC is used as a thin film can the sputtering process be used to create the film in which case a resist can be used to protect some of the substrate and thus create a pattern if the resist is patterned?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
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