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Integrated Notched Pin Joint and other Multilayer Structures with Extended High-Aspect Ratio Gaps and Method of Fabrication Thereof

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000115407D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 161K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fan, LS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

To assemble millimeter-sized microfabricated precision mechanical parts together to form &mu.m gaps, such as that between rotor and stators of a millimeter-sized motor, is a major manufacturing challenge. To integrate such structures is highly desirable but not shown to be feasible in the past for various processing difficulties. Disclosed is a metal pin-joint structure with notches along the high-aspect ratio gap which can be batch fabricated (in-situ assembled) in a multiple sacrificial/metal layer process described herein. With this enabling technology, millimeter-sized motors, actuator/arm assemblies, and most of the mechanical platforms for chip-sized DASD can be integrated on the same substrate.

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Integrated Notched Pin Joint and other Multilayer Structures with
Extended High-Aspect Ratio Gaps and Method of Fabrication Thereof

      To assemble millimeter-sized microfabricated precision
mechanical parts together to form &mu.m gaps, such as that between
rotor and stators of a millimeter-sized motor, is a major
manufacturing challenge.  To integrate such structures is highly
desirable but not shown to be feasible in the past for various
processing difficulties.  Disclosed is a metal pin-joint structure
with notches along the high-aspect ratio gap which can be batch
fabricated (in-situ assembled) in a multiple sacrificial/metal layer
process described herein.  With this enabling technology,
millimeter-sized motors, actuator/arm assemblies, and most of the
mechanical platforms for chip-sized DASD can be integrated on the
same substrate.

      Many current applications require millimeter-sized structures
instead of micrometer-sized structures, although the structural
resolution may still be in the micrometer region.  Microfabricated
precision structures such as millimeter-sized rotors, stators with
tens of micrometers to a fraction of a millimeter thick, can be made
by a stencil-plating process or LIGA process.  The latter process can
produce mechanical parts with a height-to-lateral dimension aspect
ratio of several hundred to one, and submicrometer resolution.  To
assemble the micro parts together to form &mu.m gaps, such as that
between the rotor and axle, or that between the rotor and stators of
a millimeter-sized motor, although done in the laboratories, is a
major manufacturing challenge.  Alternatively, an integration process
should be developed such that structures are fabricated and assembled
in a batch process.  The major problems of an integration assembly
approach are:
  1.  An in-situ fabricated high-aspect ratio pin-joint element which
       has a thin, tall and up to a few millimeter-long gap, such as
       between the rotor and axle, has not been successfully
       demonstrated before.
  2.  A general multiple sacrificial layer/metal layer process to
form
       the pin joint subject to the following constraints:
      a.  The process strength of the plating stencil with the narrow
           gap mentioned in 1.  The millimeter-long thin gap will not
           collapse during the wet processing step.
      b.  A low-temperature sacrificial layer that can be formed on
top
           of metal layers.
      c.  The above-mentioned layer can be used as a substrate for
           seed-layer deposition, lithography and plating process.
      d.  The above-mentioned layer can be finally removed without
           attacking other layers.

      Disclosed is a metal pin-joint structure with notches along the
high-aspect ratio gap which can be batch fabricated (in-situ
assembled) in a multiple sacrificial/me...