Stiction and capillary force assisted self-assembly of microcantilevers


  • Contact Researcher: Franck ROSE, Dr.
  • Hosted LIMMS Japanese Laboratory: Kawakatsu Lab --- Micro Components and Systems

Project Overview

  • Keywords
    • MEMS
    • self-assembly
    • microcantilevers
    • stiction,
    • capillary forces

  • Context :
  • Objectives :
  • Methods :
We report the surface tension-powered self-assembly (displacement, alignment, pulling down, and locking) of microcantilevers. Capillary forces-assisted displacement is realized by compression of four arrays of springs linked to the opposite lateral sides of the cantilevers. After in plane translation along the initial cantilever orientation, the microstructure is pulled down and locked on the substrate by stiction. Spring and capillary forces are described with a simple analytical model. Complete self-assembly occurs when the layout of the whole system (the cantilever with its traveling spring structure, the surrounding area, and the local distribution of the liquid) is well designed. We show that the presence of a water meniscus trapped at a step edge in the vicinity of the tip end of a microcantilever could lead to stiction failure before traveling of the structure. Small beams (6 μm long) protruding over step edges were fabricated by adding a mechanically-assisted displacement step (with a microneedle) to the self-assembly experiment.

Report(s) and Publication(s)

  • References :
F.Rose, M.Hattori, D.Kobayashi, H.Toshiyoshi, H.Fujita, and H.Kawakatsu, "Application of Capillarity Forces and Stiction for Lateral Displacement, Alignment, Suspension, and Locking of Self-Assembled Microcantilevers", Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 16, 2077 (2006).