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Method of drying passivated micromachines by dewetting from a liquid-based process

United States Patent

September 5, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A method of fabricating a micromachine includes the step of constructing a low surface energy film on the micromachine. The micromachine is then rinsed with a rinse liquid that has a high surface energy, relative to the low surface energy film, to produce a contact angle of greater than between the low surface energy film and the rinse liquid. This relatively large contact angle causes any rinse liquid on the micromachine to be displaced from the micromachine when the micromachine is removed from the rinse liquid. In other words, the micromachine is dried by dewetting from a liquid-based process. Thus, a separate evaporative drying step is not required, as the micromachine is removed from the liquid-based process in a dry state. The relatively large contact angle also operates to prevent attractive capillary forces between micromachine components, thereby preventing contact and adhesion between adjacent microstructure surfaces. The low surface energy film may be constructed with a fluorinated self-assembled monolayer film. The processing of the invention avoids the use of environmentally harmful, health-hazardous chemicals.
Houston; Michael R. (Berkeley, CA), Howe; Roger T. (Lafayette, CA), Maboudian; Roya (Orinda, CA), Srinivasan; Uthara (Berkeley, CA)
Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
08/ 866,833
May 30, 1997
This invention was made with Government support under Grant (Contract) No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights to this invention.