In situ studies of interfacial contact evolution via a two-axis deflecting cantilever microinstrument

Liu, Fang; Laboriante, Ian; Bush, Brian; Roper, Christopher S.; Carraro, Carlo; Maboudian, Roya
September 2009
Applied Physics Letters;9/28/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 13, p131902
Academic Journal
The time-dependent assessment of two contacting polycrystalline silicon surfaces is realized using a microinstrument that allows for in situ surface analysis. The evolution in contact resistance, morphology, and chemistry is probed as a function of contact cycle. Initially, the contact resistance is found to decrease and then increase with impact cycle. Upon prolonged cycling, the fracture of Si grains is observed which grow to form a wear crater. The electrical, morphological, and chemical analyses suggest that the wear of rough polysilicon surfaces due to impact proceeds through three distinct phases, namely plastic deformation of asperities, adhesive wear, and grain fracture.


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