3C-SiC Films on Si for MEMS Applications: Mechanical Properties
Single crystal 3C-SiC films were grown on (100) and (111) Si substrate orientations in order to study the resulting mechanical properties of this material. In addition, poly-crystalline 3C-SiC was also grown on (100)Si so that a comparison with monocrystaline 3C-SiC, also grown on (100)Si, could be made. The mechanical properties of single crystal and polycrystalline 3C-SiC films grown on Si substrates were measured by means of nanoindentation using a Berkovich diamond tip. These results indicate that polycrystalline SiC thin films are attractive for MEMS applications when compared with the single crystal 3C-SiC, which is promising since growing single crystal 3C-SiC films is more challenging. MEMS cantilevers and membranes fabricated from a 2 µm thick single crystal 3C-SiC grown on (100)Si under similar conditions resulted in a small degree of bow with only 9 µm of deflection for a cantilever of 700 µm length with an estimated tensile film stress of 300 MPa. Single crystal 3C-SiC films on (111)Si substrates have the highest elastic and plastic properties, although due to high residual stress they tend to crack and delaminate.
Amador Pérez-Tomás, Philippe Godignon, Miquel Vellvehí and Pierre Brosselard
C. Locke et al., "3C-SiC Films on Si for MEMS Applications: Mechanical Properties", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 615-617, pp. 633-636, 2009