Texas Instruments' digital micromirror device (DMD) comprises an array of fast digital micromirrors, monolithically integrated onto and controlled by an underlying silicon memory chip. The DMD is one of the few success stories in the emerging field of MEMS. In this study, an atomic force microscope (AFM) has been used to characterize the nanotribological properties of the elements of the DMD. An AFM methodology was developed to identify and remove micromirrors of interest. The surface roughness, adhesion, friction, and stiffness properties of the DMD elements were studied. The influence of relative humidity and temperature on the behavior of the DMD element surfaces was also investigated. Potential mechanisms for wear and stiction are discussed in light of the findings. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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