Abstract

Tools for microfabrication on planar silicon substrates have led to remarkable advances in miniaturization of MEMS silicon devices. Silicon however has a limited functionality in many MEMS applications. Applications in which there are requirements for electrically or thermally insulating substrates, low capacitance, resistance to corrosion, or hermetic sealing limit some capabilities of silicon as a MEMS material. The introduction of packaging materials such as ceramics, polymers, and glass in MEMS fabrication makes it easy to fabricate 3-D meso or large-scale devices for a wide range of applications at cheaper cost. The application of these materials helps in constructing complex multilayer MEMS structures, which is one of the limitations of traditional Silicon MEMS devices. In this work we investigate and report laser micromachining of MEMS packaging materials such as ceramics and polymers for non-silicon MEMS device fabrication. A review of and general discussion is also presented in regard to the role of lasers in fabricating non-silicon MEMS devices. The experimental results of microstucturing these materials, SEM micrographs, surface morphology after machining, and their applications are reported.

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