TAMUCC Robotics Lab

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Research Detail

Bulk Micromachining MEMS Technology for Semiconductor Manufacturing

Research title

NSF CCLI grant (#0411262)

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are small, integrated devices or systems that combine electrical and mechanical components. They range in size from the sub micrometer (or sub micron) level to the millimeter level. MEMS extends the fabrication techniques developed for the integrated circuit industry to add mechanical elements such as beams, gears, diaphragms, and springs to devices. These systems can be utilized for sensor, control, or actuator technology in micro-scale, and function individually or in arrays to generate synergic effects on the macro scale providing foundation of fabrication technology for large arrays of micro-scale devices to accomplish complicated functions [1]. Bulk micromachining, one of the MEMS technologies, is an essential method to fabricate micro or nano scale structures on the pure silicon wafer [2]. It was not until the recent past when the directional wet etching process is fully understood in the crystal structure level and utilized for mechanical parts fabrication practically. Due to the precision sculpturing capability of a 3D structure the bulk micromachining became one of the most important technologies for nano structure manufacturing areas. As an introductory session of the MEMS technology into the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology curriculum (TECH 4392), a series of design and development plan of a micro scale cantilever beam structure has been outlined and executed during the summer 2004. The result of the study has been implemented in the course successfully in year 2005 spring semester. During the period of process development, we detailed material requirements, safety precautions, process operations for wet oxidation process and anisotropic wet etching of pure silicon crystal utilizing infrastructures including a 10,000 certified clean room in the department. The goal of this project is to successfully create a series of 6,000 - 10,000A thick micro-scale cantilever beam with varying geometries and document the materials, equipments and detail processes as well as outline the future device design constraints in the facility. In brief, we review the bulk micromachining process and its parameters set forth for the course and share some useful results from a pedagogical standpoint. The MEMS curriculum development project introduced herein has been supported by NSF grant (#0411262)

Int. Journal on Modern Engineering

Dugan Um, Bahram Asiabanpour, Dave Foor, Mathew Kurtz, Mary Tellers, Todd McGregor, “Crystallographic Edge Removal of Silicon Dioxide Micro Parts in Bulk Micromachining,”, International Journal of Rapid Manufacturing, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 299-315, 2011


Matthew Kurtz, Dave Foor, Mary Tellers, M. Todd McGregor, Bahram Asiabanpour, Dugan Um, "Microelectromechanical systems, Wet etch, EPW, boron doping,” MicroManufacturing Conference & Exhibits, Mesa AZ, April 14, 2010.


D. Um, “Introductory MEMS technology using Bulk Micromachining in the Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology Curriculum,” American Society for Engineering Education, 2006, Chicago.

To contact us:

Phone: 361-825-3381

Fax: 361-825-3056

E-mail: dugan.um@tamucc.edu