Friction and dynamically dissipated energy dependence on temperature in polycrystalline silicon MEMS devices

Alkisti Gkouzou, Jaap Kokorian, G.C.A.M. Janssen, Merlijn van Spengen

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In this paper, we report on the influence of capillary condensation on the sliding friction of sidewall surfaces in polycrystalline silicon micro-electromechanical
systems (MEMS). We developed a polycrystalline silicon MEMS tribometer, which is a microscale test device with two components subject to sliding contact. One of the components can be heated in situ by Joule heating to set the temperature of the contact and thereby control the capillary kinetics at the MEMS sidewalls. We used an optical displacement measurement technique to record the stick–slip
motion of the slider with sub-nanometer resolution, and we assessed the friction force with nanonewton resolution. All friction measurements were performed under controlled ambient conditions while sweeping the contact temperature
from room temperature to 300 C, and from 300 C to room temperature. We were able to distinguish the two ways in which energy is dissipated during sliding: the
‘semi-statically’ dissipated energy attributed to asperity deformation and contact yield, and the dynamically dissipated energy ascribed to the release of the tension in the slider during slip events. We observed an increase in the
dynamically dissipated energy at 80 C while sweeping down in temperature. This increase is caused by higher adhesion due to capillary condensation between the conformal surfaces. Our study highlights how energy is dissipated during the sliding contact of MEMS sidewalls, and it is helpful in overcoming friction in multi-asperity systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1899-1907
JournalMicrosystem Technologies: micro and nanosystems - information storage and processing systems
Volume24 (2018)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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