We investigated the effects of the defects generated by plasma in a silicon (Si) microcantilever. The E0 center density of the microcantilever was markedly increased after argon (Ar) plasma irradiation. On the other hand, the E0 center density could be effectively suppressed when using Ar neutral beam (NB). The mechanical characteristics, including the Q factor and resonant frequency, of a microcantilever were markedly decreased by plasma irradiation, which revealed that plasma irradiation deteriorated the mechanical characteristics of the micro element. These results have a considerable impact on micro- and nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMSs/NEMSs). On the other hand, for NB irradiation, both characteristics were basically unchanged after irradiation, which indicates that the NB process is an ultralow-damage process. Therefore, the NB process may have tremendous potential to play an important role in the micro- and nano-fabrication processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)