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Sensors 2013, 13(6), 7021-7032; doi:10.3390/s130607021

Improved Adhesion of Gold Thin Films Evaporated on Polymer Resin: Applications for Sensing Surfaces and MEMS

Department of Chemistry, Memorial University, St. John's, NL A1B3X7, Canada
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Received: 11 April 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 28 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomechanical Sensors)
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Abstract

We present and analyze a method to improve the morphology and mechanical properties of gold thin films for use in optical sensors or other settings where good adhesion of gold to a substrate is of importance and where controlled topography/roughness is key. To improve the adhesion of thermally evaporated gold thin films, we introduce a gold deposition step on SU-8 photoresist prior to UV exposure but after the pre-bake step of SU-8 processing. Shrinkage and distribution of residual stresses, which occur during cross-linking of the SU-8 polymer layer in the post-exposure baking step, are responsible for the higher adhesion of the top gold film to the post-deposition cured SU-8 sublayer. The SU-8 underlayer can also be used to tune the resulting gold film morphology. Our promoter-free protocol is easily integrated with existing sensor microfabrication processes.
Keywords: thin films; adhesion; elastic modulus; roughness; biomedical cantilever sensors; microfluidic sensors; SU-8; metal; gold thin films; adhesion; elastic modulus; roughness; biomedical cantilever sensors; microfluidic sensors; SU-8; metal; gold
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moazzez, B.; O'Brien, S.M.; Merschrod S., E.F. Improved Adhesion of Gold Thin Films Evaporated on Polymer Resin: Applications for Sensing Surfaces and MEMS. Sensors 2013, 13, 7021-7032.

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