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Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions
Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate, US Army Research Laboratory, 2800 Powder Mill Rd, Adelphi, MD 20783, USA
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; in revised form: 20 February 2011 / Accepted: 23 February 2011 / Published: 1 March 2011
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.
Keywords: self-assembly; solder; magnetic forces
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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.
Morris CJ, Isaacson B, Grapes MD, Dubey M. Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions. Micromachines. 2011; 2(1):69-81.
Morris, Christopher J.; Isaacson, Brian; Grapes, Michael D.; Dubey, Madan. 2011. "Self-Assembly of Microscale Parts through Magnetic and Capillary Interactions." Micromachines 2, no. 1: 69-81.