Three-Dimensional Elastic-Plastic Fractal Analysis of Surface Adhesion in Microelectromechanical Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Komvopoulos, W. Yan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

J. Tribol 120(4), 808-813 (Oct 01, 1998) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2833783 History: Received July 02, 1997; Revised December 01, 1997; Online January 24, 2008


High adhesion is often encountered at contact interfaces of miniaturized devices, known as microelectromechanical systems, due to the development of capillary, electrostatic, and van der Waals attractive forces. In addition, deformation of contacting asperities on opposing surfaces produces a repulsive interfacial force. Permanent surface adhesion (referred to as stiction) occurs when the total interfacial force is attractive and exceeds the micromachine restoring force. In the present study, a three-dimensional fractal topography description is incorporated into an elastic-plastic contact mechanics analysis of asperity deformation. Simulation results revealing the contribution of capillary, electrostatic, van der Waals, and asperity deformation forces to the total interfacial force are presented for silicon/silicon and aluminum/aluminum material systems and different mean surface separation distances. Results demonstrate a pronounced effect of surface roughness on the micromachine critical stiffness required to overcome interfacial adhesion.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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