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

Moazzez, Behrang; O'Brien, Stacey M.; Merschrod S., Erika F.
June 2013
Sensors (14248220);Jun2013, Vol. 13 Issue 6, p7021
Academic Journal
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.


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