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Research ArticleOpen Access

A Technique for Detecting the Presence of Water Under micro-Devices working in a Liquid Environment

Volume 6 - Issue 1

D Borin, P Gallina, N Scuor and O Sbaizero*

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    • Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Italy

    *Corresponding author: Orfeo Sbaizero, Department of Engineering and Architecture, University of Trieste, Via A. Valerio 10, 34127 Trieste, Italy

Received: June 19, 2018;   Published: June 26, 2018

DOI: 10.26717/BJSTR.2018.06.001304

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This study addressesissues specifically related to the underwater dynamic actuation of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), such as micro-cantilevers or comb-drive microstructures. As a practical application, cantilevers made using MUMPs (Multi-User MEMS Processes) foundry are considered. Since the gap between the cantilevers and the underlying surface is very narrow (about 2 μm), water does not always flow easily underneath the cantilevers, especially when the surface is hydrophobic with respect to the liquid environment. As long as the MEMS surface is hydrophobic, the lower the gap, the higher the pressure required to flow into micro-channels or gaps .As a consequence, this issue significantly modifies cantilevers’ performances. To gain an insight of the phenomenon, a new measurement technique was developed, referred to as MFTEC (MEMS Freezing by Thermo Electric Cooling), which can verify the presence of water under cantilevers or other micro-devices.

Keywords: MEMS, Thermo Electric Cooling, Microdevices, Wettability

Abbrevations: MEMS: Micro Electro Mechanical Systems; AFM: Atomic Force Microscopy; XRT: X-Ray Micro-Tomography; FES: Focus Error Signal

Abstract| Introduction| Techniques used for Investigating the presence of Water Under Micro-Devices| MEMS Freezing by Thermo Electric Cooling (MFTEC)| Results and Discussion| Conclusion| References|