Wet bulk micromachining of Si by metal-assisted chemical etching (MaCE) has successfully been demonstrated. Based on the mechanism of defective etching results from Ag and Au metal catalyst experiments, the wettability of etchant solution, in addition to metal type, has been found to have profound effect on the etching process. Addition of low surface tension co-solvent, ethanol in this work, into conventional etchant formulation has enabled complete wetting of etchant on surface, which prevents hydrogen bubble attachment on sample surface during the etching. The complete elimination of bubble attachment guarantees very uniform etch rate on all over the sample surface, and thus prevents premature fragmentation/rupture of catalyst metal layer. Under the optimized etching conditions, the MaCE could be done for up to 12 h without any noticeable film rupture and thus etching defects. Thanks to very smooth surface of the etched patterns, conformal contact and direct bonding of elastomer on such surface has been easily accomplished. The method demonstrated here can pave the way for application of simple, low-cost MaCE process in the bulk micromachining of Si for various applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films