Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.M.E.

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Nathan Crane, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rasim Guldiken, Ph.D.

Keywords

pecvd, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, etch rates, electrical properties

Abstract

Electrowetting is a phenomenon that controls the wettability of liquids on solid

surfaces by the application of electric potential. It is an interesting method to handle tiny

amounts of liquid on solid surfaces. In recent times, researchers have been investigating

this phenomenon and have reported some unexplained behavior and degradation in the

Electrowetting system performance. Electrowetting systems include the presence of

electric field and different materials from metals to dielectrics and electrolytes that create

an environment in which corrosion processes play a very important role. With the small

dimensions of the electrodes, corrosion can cause failure quickly when the dielectric fails.

In this work, commonly used dielectric films such as silicon dioxide and silicon

nitride were deposited using Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition and

characterized on the basis of thickness uniformity, etch rate measurements, Dry current –

voltage measurements and Wet current – voltage measurements. Sputtered silicon

dioxide films were also characterized using the same methods. The correlation between

Dry I – V and Wet I – V measurements was studied and a comparison of dielectric

quality of films based on these measurements is presented. Also, impact of different

liquids on the dielectric quality of films was studied.

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