The mechanisms causing stiction of polysilicon structures fabricated by surface micromachining techniques have been investigated. It is found that during drying from rinse liquids attractive dynamic capillary forces are responsible for bringing micromechanical structures into contact with the underlying substrate. Measured adhesion energies of sticking microbridges indicate that van der Waals forces are responsible for the stiction of hydrophobic surfaces and that hydrogen bridging is an additional adhesion mechanism for hydrophilic surfaces. Methods to reduce the stiction problem are indicated. © 1994.
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