Low-cost Patterning of Ceramic Thin Films


Martin, C. R. ; Aksay, I. A. Low-cost Patterning of Ceramic Thin Films. In Electroceramic-based MEMS, Fabrication Technology and Applications; Setter, N., Ed. Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. New York, 2005; pp. 387-410.


The patterning of ceramic thin films is of great interest for use in MEMS and other applications as discussed in the chapters by Maeda et al. and by Muralt and Baborowski. However, the complex chemistries of certain materials make the use of traditional photolithography techniques prohibitive. In this chapter, a number of low-cost, high throughput techniques for the patterrning of ceramic thin films derived from chemical solution precursors, such as sol-gels and ceramic slurries, are presented. Most of these methods are derived from soft lithographic methods using elastomer molds, a method that is categorized as the next generation lithography in the chapter by Alexe et al. Two categories of techniques are discussed: first, the focus is on methods that rely on the principles of confinement within the physical features of the mold to define the pattern on the substracte surface. Then, subtractive patterning techniques that rely on transferring a pattern to a spin-cast large-area continuous thin film are described. Most techniques have been demonstrated with fidelities on the order of 100 nm; however, their inability to precisely register and align the patterns as part of a hierarchical fabrication scheme has hindered their commercial implementation thus far. This chaper has been updated from the original manuscript to reflect the most recent available literature and complements the chapter by Baborowshi on pattern formation by micromachining techniques.