Surface effects and high quality factors in ultrathin single-crystal silicon cantilevers

Yang, Jinling; Jinling Yang; Ono, Takahito; Esashi, Masayoshi
December 2000
Applied Physics Letters;12/4/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 23
Academic Journal
Surface effects in ultrathin single-crystal silicon cantilevers of 170 nm thickness, which are optically actuated mainly by the light pressure effect, are investigated under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) condition. Annealing the cantilevers at 1000 °C for 30 s in UHV results in an over 1 order of magnitude increase of the quality factor (Q factor), up to about 2.5x10[sup 5] for cantilevers of 30-90 μm in length. The improvement of Q factor was found to be associated with the deoxidization of the surface, as determined by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. These results suggest that the surface effects in the ultrathin cantilevers dominate their mechanical behavior. With the promising mechanical behavior, the cantilever can be easily actuated by a laser beam (beam size: about 300x100 μm[sup 2]) with power down to less than 40 μW at a wavelength of 680 nm, corresponding to 480 nW, i.e., 1.64x10[sup 12] photons/s, irradiated on the cantilever surface (60x6 μm[sup 2]). This provides a rather simple way to operate the ultrathin cantilevers dynamically in UHV. Atomic scale force resolution (4.8x10[sup -17] N) at 300 K is also expected with these cantilevers. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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