Polymer Materials for Ground Mobile Millimeter-Scale Robotics

Report No. ARL-TR-4659
Authors: Ryan Rudy, Ronald G. Polcawich, and Jeff Pulskamp
Date/Pages: December 2008; 22 pages
Abstract: This project is closely tied with the ongoing work of visiting Professor Kenn Oldham and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) joint effort on creating highly flexible, large payload capacity joints for a ground mobile millimeter-scale robot. The fabrication process to add parylene coatings to the piezo-microelectromechanical systems (piezoMEMS) actuator process has been characterized using test structures. Scanning electron and optical microscopy of the joint assemblies; analysis of the coating technology for trench fill; process robustness to exposure to solvents and photolithographic processing; and adhesion of parylene to both platinum and lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films have been completed on two separate fabrication sequences. Parylene coatings have been successfully applied to both platinum and PZT thin films and the challenges associated with parylene survival with multiple fabrication process steps have been evaluated. Future work will include full release of test structures on the existing wafers in fabrication as well as implementation of process improvements into a fully functional piezoMEMS plus parylene actuator joint.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2008