Manufacturing & Prototyping

A Reactive-Ion Etch for Patterning Piezoelectric Thin Film

Gaseous mixtures BCl3 and Cl2 are highly selective for etching PbZr1-xTixO3 films. Reactive-ion etching (RIE) under conditions described below has been found to be a suitable means for patterning piezoelectric thin films made from such materials as PbZr1-xTixO3 or BaxSr1-xTiO3. In the original application for which this particular RIE process was developed, PbZr1-xTixO3 films 0.5 μm thick are to be sandwiched between Pt electrode layers 0.1 µm thick and Ir electrode layers 0.1 μm thick to form piezoelectric capacitor structures. Such structures are typical of piezoelectric actuators in advanced microelectromechanical systems now under development or planned to be developed in the near future.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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In Situ Electrochemical Deposition of Microscopic Wires

Tedious, expensive post-growth assembly is no longer necessary.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Parylene C as a Sacrificial Material for Microfabrication

Parylene C has been investigated for use as a sacrificial material in microfabrication. Although Parylene C cannot be patterned lithographically like photoresists, it nevertheless extends the range of processing options by offering a set of properties that are suitable for microfabrication and are complementary to those of photoresists. The compatibility of Parylene C with several microfabrication processes was demonstrated in experiments in which a thin film of Parylene C was deposited on a silicon wafer, then several thin metal films were deposited and successfully patterned, utilizing the Parylene C pads as a sacrificial layer.

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Race Car Manufacturer Uses Finite Element Analysis to Simulate Chassis Performance

Building a Formula 1 race car requires accurate analysis of structural features and constraints. The monocoque chassis of a Formula 1 race car is a sandwich structure, made of high-performance carbon-epoxy composite face sheets and an aluminum or aramidic honeycomb core. High-modulus and high-strength composites, with aerospace-class toughened epoxy resins, are used in order to obtain the maximum safety performance/weight ratio. All attachment points for the engine, suspensions, rollhoop, etc., are made through inserts embedded in the lamination stack during the production phase. In order to minimize weight and thermal expansion differential, and maximize the adhesion, the inserts are made as thick (about 18-mm) laminated composite plates to be machined to the required dimensions and thickness.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Multilayer Composite Pressure Vessels

Lightweight tanks can be made in diverse sizes and shapes.

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Growing Aligned Carbon Nanotubes for Interconnections in ICs

Carbon nanotubes are embedded in silica with their tips exposed as contacts.

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Shipbuilders Design Pipeline Dredging Barge With FEA Software

Finite element analysis software aids in the design of an undersea natural gas liquids pipeline. A South American pipeline project that traverses the Amazon jungle and the Andes Mountains to the Pacific coast originates in the Camisea fields of eastern Peru, which are among the world’s largest natural gas (NG) reserves, holding approximately 11 trillion cubic feet of NG and 600 million barrels of associated natural gas liquids (NGL). To access these reserves, a $500-million (USD) project was led by Pluspetrol Peru Corporation S.A. (Pluspetrol) that included construction of two pipelines — one for NG (714 km) and the other for NGL (540 km). As construction of the pipelines neared completion, work focused on endpoints such as the fractionation plant where NGL would be processed into commercial products including propane, butane, and condensates.

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