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5 January 2006 Infrared laser deposition of Teflon coatings on microstructures
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Abstract
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, trade name Teflon) has a wide range of unique and desirable physical, electrical and chemical properties. Its tribological properties are well-suited to anti-stiction applications, and its chemical inertness commends it as a barrier and passivation layer. However, conventional thin-film techniques are not suited for depositing Teflon films on microstructures. Spin coating is impossible because of the well-known insolubility of PTFE. Plasma polymerization of fluorocarbon monomers, ion beam and rf sputtering produce PTFE films that are deficient in fluorine. Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) using excimer and Ti:sapphire lasers is unsatisfactory because UV or near-IR laser ablation "unzips" the PTFE, and requires high-temperature annealing to re-polymerize the deposited monomeric film. We have demonstrated that a completely dry, vapor-phase coating technique - resonant infrared pulsed laser deposition (RIR-PLD) at a wavelength of 8.26 μm -produces crystalline, smooth Teflon films at low process temperatures. Indeed, the films as deposited by RIR-PLD exhibit a surprising degree of crystallinity even at room temperature. The stoichiometry and local electronic structure are preserved during the laser vaporization process, as demonstrated by IR absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Films deposited on microscale structures show good adhesion, excellent smoothness, and a high degree of conformability to the structures. We also discuss experiments planned for the near future to compare the tribological properties of the PTFE films deposited by RIR-PLD with those of other tribological coatings. We will also discuss the implementation of RIR-PLD in practical processing schemes for MEMS applications, including the challenge in adapting existing solid-state mid-IR laser technology for this purpose.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. R. Papantonakis and R. F. Haglund Jr. "Infrared laser deposition of Teflon coatings on microstructures", Proc. SPIE 6111, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS V, 611104 (5 January 2006); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.647680
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