Fabrication of smooth amorphous carbon micro-cantilevers by lift-off

D. Sheeja, B. K. Tay, Shu Ping Lau, L. J. Yu, J. M. Miao, H. C. Chua, W. I. Milne

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The amorphous carbon films prepared by filtered cathodic vacuum arc (FCVA) deposition system are superior in nature with very smooth surface morphology, relatively high hardness, exceptional tribological behavior and excellent bio-compatibility. These exceptional qualities make them suitable for many device applications. However, these superior quality films prepared at relatively lower substrate bias such as -80V exhibits high compressive stress. The stress reduction is achieved by preparing the film in conjunction with high substrate pulse biasing. In the present study, pure a-C films of about 1μm in thickness were prepared, on highly doped n-type 〈100〉 Si wafer, using FCVA system in conjunction with high substrate pulse biasing of -5kV, 600Hz and 25 μs. The intrinsic compressive stress in the film, calculated from the change in radius of curvature from the substrate and film-substrate sandwich is approximately 300MPa. Free-standing amorphous carbon (a-C) film structures were successfully fabricated by photolithography technique together with anisotropic wet etching of Si in 40% KOH. However, it has been noticed that etching in KOH for a longer duration at room temperature or for a relatively shorter duration at higher temperatures creates relatively larger holes on the surface of the film. This directed us also to analyze the micro-structural and morphological changes of pure a-C films as a function of etching temperature and duration, for two different concentrations (20 and 40%) of KOH and which are discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cathodic arc technique
  • KOH etching
  • Low stress a-C films
  • Micro-cantilevers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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