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Micromachines 2011, 2(1), 69-81; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi2010069

Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions

1
Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate, US Army Research Laboratory, 2800 Powder Mill Rd, Adelphi, MD 20783, USA
2
Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 January 2011 / Revised: 20 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 February 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Assembly)
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Abstract

Self-assembly is a promising technique to overcome fundamental limitations with integrating, packaging, and general handling of individual electronic-related components with characteristic lengths significantly smaller than 1 mm. Here we describe the use of magnetic and capillary forces to self-assemble 280 µm sized silicon building blocks into interconnected structures which approach a three-dimensional crystalline configuration. Integrated permanent magnet microstructures provided magnetic forces, while a low-melting-point solder alloy provided capillary forces. A finite element model of forces between the magnetic features demonstrated the utility of magnetic forces at this size scale. Despite a slight departure from designed dimensions in the actual fabricated parts, the combination of magnetic and capillary forces improved the assembly yield to 8%, over approximately 0.1% achieved previously with capillary forces alone. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-assembly; solder; magnetic forces self-assembly; solder; magnetic forces
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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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Morris, C.J.; Isaacson, B.; Grapes, M.D.; Dubey, M. Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions. Micromachines 2011, 2, 69-81.

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