Capillary origami of micro-machined micro-objects: Bi-layer conductive hinges

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Recently, we demonstrated controllable 3D self-folding by means of capillary forces of silicon-nitride micro-objects made of rigid plates connected to each other by flexible hinges (Legrain et al., 2014). In this paper, we introduce platinum electrodes running from the substrate to the plates over these bendable hinges. The fabrication yield is as high as (77 ± 2)% for hinges with a length less than 75 μm. The yield reduces to (18 ± 2)% when the length increases above 100 μm. Most of the failures in conductivity are due to degradation of the platinum/chromium layer stack during the final plasma cleaning step. The bi-layer hinges survive the capillary folding process, even for extremely small bending radii of 5 μm, nor does the bending have any impact on the conductivity. Stress in the different layers deforms the hinges, which does not affect the conductivity. Once assembled, the conductive hinges can withstand a current density of (1.6 ± 0.4) × 10$^6$ A/cm$^2$. This introduction of conductive electrodes to elastocapillary self-folded silicon-based micro-objects extends the range of their possible applications by allowing an electronic functionality of the folded parts.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalMicroelectronic engineering
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2015


  • EWI-26190
  • IR-98190
  • METIS-314934

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