The effect of PECVD plasma decomposition on the wettability and dielectric constant changes in silicon modified DLC films for potential MEMS and low stiction applications

AA Ogwu, TIT Okpalugo, JAD McLaughlin

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Abstract

We have carried out investigations aimed at understanding the mechanism responsible for a water contact angle increase of up to ten degrees and a decrease in dielectric constant in silicon modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films compared to unmodified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films. Our investigations based on surface chemical constituent analysis using Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), SIMS, FTIR, contact angle / surface energy measurements and spectroscopic ellipsometry suggests the presence of hydrophobic chemical entities on the surface of the films. This observation is consistent with earlier theoretical plasma chemistry predictions and observed Raman peak shifts in the films. These surface hydrophobic entities also have a lower polarizability than the bonds in the un-modified films thereby reducing the dielectric constant of the silicon modified films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Ellipsometric dielectric constant measurement is directly related to the surface energy through Hamaker's constant. Our current finding is expected to be of benefit to understanding stiction, friction and lubrication in areas that range from nano-tribology to microfluidics.
LanguageEnglish
Pages032128
JournalAIP Advances
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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stiction
wettability
microelectromechanical systems
permittivity
decomposition
silicon
surface energy
ellipsometry
plasma chemistry
tribology
carbon
lubrication
chemical analysis
x ray spectroscopy
secondary ion mass spectrometry
friction
Raman spectroscopy
photoelectron spectroscopy
shift
predictions

Cite this

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title = "The effect of PECVD plasma decomposition on the wettability and dielectric constant changes in silicon modified DLC films for potential MEMS and low stiction applications",
abstract = "We have carried out investigations aimed at understanding the mechanism responsible for a water contact angle increase of up to ten degrees and a decrease in dielectric constant in silicon modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films compared to unmodified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films. Our investigations based on surface chemical constituent analysis using Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), SIMS, FTIR, contact angle / surface energy measurements and spectroscopic ellipsometry suggests the presence of hydrophobic chemical entities on the surface of the films. This observation is consistent with earlier theoretical plasma chemistry predictions and observed Raman peak shifts in the films. These surface hydrophobic entities also have a lower polarizability than the bonds in the un-modified films thereby reducing the dielectric constant of the silicon modified films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Ellipsometric dielectric constant measurement is directly related to the surface energy through Hamaker's constant. Our current finding is expected to be of benefit to understanding stiction, friction and lubrication in areas that range from nano-tribology to microfluidics.",
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AU - Ogwu, AA

AU - Okpalugo, TIT

AU - McLaughlin, JAD

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Y1 - 2012

N2 - We have carried out investigations aimed at understanding the mechanism responsible for a water contact angle increase of up to ten degrees and a decrease in dielectric constant in silicon modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films compared to unmodified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films. Our investigations based on surface chemical constituent analysis using Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), SIMS, FTIR, contact angle / surface energy measurements and spectroscopic ellipsometry suggests the presence of hydrophobic chemical entities on the surface of the films. This observation is consistent with earlier theoretical plasma chemistry predictions and observed Raman peak shifts in the films. These surface hydrophobic entities also have a lower polarizability than the bonds in the un-modified films thereby reducing the dielectric constant of the silicon modified films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Ellipsometric dielectric constant measurement is directly related to the surface energy through Hamaker's constant. Our current finding is expected to be of benefit to understanding stiction, friction and lubrication in areas that range from nano-tribology to microfluidics.

AB - We have carried out investigations aimed at understanding the mechanism responsible for a water contact angle increase of up to ten degrees and a decrease in dielectric constant in silicon modified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films compared to unmodified hydrogenated amorphous carbon films. Our investigations based on surface chemical constituent analysis using Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), SIMS, FTIR, contact angle / surface energy measurements and spectroscopic ellipsometry suggests the presence of hydrophobic chemical entities on the surface of the films. This observation is consistent with earlier theoretical plasma chemistry predictions and observed Raman peak shifts in the films. These surface hydrophobic entities also have a lower polarizability than the bonds in the un-modified films thereby reducing the dielectric constant of the silicon modified films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Ellipsometric dielectric constant measurement is directly related to the surface energy through Hamaker's constant. Our current finding is expected to be of benefit to understanding stiction, friction and lubrication in areas that range from nano-tribology to microfluidics.

U2 - 10.1063/1.4742852

DO - 10.1063/1.4742852

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