20 December 2006 Low-stress silicon nitride layers for MEMS applications
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The paper presents two deposition methods for generation of SiNx layers with "zero" residual stress in PECVD reactors: mixed frequency and high power in high frequency mode (13.56 MHz). Traditionally, mix frequency mode is commonly used to produce low stress SiNx layers, which alternatively applies the HF and LF mode. However, due to the low deposition rate of LF mode, the combined deposition rate of mix frequency is quite small in order to produce homogenous SiNx layers. In the second method, a high power which was up to 600 W has been used, may also produce low residual stress (0-20 MPa), with higher deposition rate (250 to 350 nm/min). The higher power not only leads to higher dissociation rates of gases which results in higher deposition rates, but also brings higher N bonding in the SiNx films and higher compressive stress from higher volume expansion of SiNx films, which compensates the tensile stress and produces low residual stress. In addition, the paper investigates the influence of other important parameters which have great impact to the residual stress and deposition rates, such as reactant gases flow rate and pressure. By using the final optimized recipe, masking layer for anisotropic wet etching in KOH and silicon nitride cantilever have been successfully fabricated based on the low stress SiNx layers. Moreover, nanoporous membrane with 400nm pores has also been fabricated and tested for cell culture. By cultivating the mouse D1 mesenchymal stem cells on top of the nanoporous membrane, the results showed that mouse D1 mesenchymal stem cells were able to grow well. This shows that the nanoporous membrane can be used as the platform for interfacing with living cells to become biocapsules for biomolecular separation.
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Ciprian Iliescu, Ciprian Iliescu, Jiashen Wei, Jiashen Wei, Bangtao Chen, Bangtao Chen, Poh Lam Ong, Poh Lam Ong, Francis E. H. Tay, Francis E. H. Tay, } "Low-stress silicon nitride layers for MEMS applications", Proc. SPIE 6415, Micro- and Nanotechnology: Materials, Processes, Packaging, and Systems III, 64150L (20 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.696350; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.696350

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