Transfer bonding technology for batch fabrication of SMA microactuators
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, IMT, Postfach 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
2 IBM Research GmbH, Zürich Research Laboratory, 8803 Rüschlikon, Switzerland
Currently, the broad market introduction of shape memory alloy (SMA) microactuators and sensors is hampered by technological barriers, since batch fabrication methods common to electronics industry are not available. The present study intends to overcome these barriers by introducing a wafer scale transfer process that allows the selective transfer of heat-treated and micromachined shape memory alloy (SMA) film or foil microactuators to randomly selected receiving sites on a target substrate. The technology relies on a temporary adhesive bonding layer between SMA film/foil and an auxiliary substrate, which can be removed by laser ablation. The transfer technology was tested for microactuators of a cold-rolled NiTi foil of 20 μm thickness, which were heat-treated in free-standing condition, then micromachined on an auxiliary substrate of glass, and finally selectively transferred to different target substrates of a polymer. For demonstration, the new technology was used for batch-fabrication of SMA-actuated polymer microvalves.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2008