Etching, Microactuators, Microelectromechanical systems, Raman effect, Surface enhanced, Deep reactive ion etching, Tetramethylammonium hydroxide


In this work, new small deflection magnetic actuators have been proposed, designed, and tested for applications in Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering optical sensors. Despite the fact that SERS sensors have been shown to increase Raman over ten orders of magnitude for molecular detection, several technological challenges have prevented the design of practical sensors, such as making SERS sensors that can efficiently detect a wide variety of molecules. Since the optimum signal-to-noise in SERS occurs at different excitation wavelengths for different molecules, individual metal nanostructures need to be designed and fabricated for each independent chemical species. One possible solution to this problem is to tune the plasmon resonance frequency of the metal nanoparticles to eliminate the need for individually optimized particles. In order to achieve a tunable local dielectric environment, and thus allow for control over the resonance frequency of metal nanoparticles, a new SERS sensor geometry is proposed and a large deflection magnetic actuator is fabricated and tested as a starting point for the design of a small deflection magnetic actuator. Using the newly developed SERS geometry and the optimized fabrication processing techniques, two small deflection magnetic actuator beam structures were designed, fabricated, and tested. These devices utilizes an off-chip electromagnet source able to produce a magnetic force of approximately 14 μN on the on-chip nickel film generating deflections up to 139 nm for the straight beam device and 164 nm for the curved beam device. iii In the process of characterizing the newly developed small deflection magnetic actuator, an integrated magnetic actuator with electrostatic restoration geometry was conceived. This device was designed to meet the specifications of the small deflection magnetic actuator as well as eliminate the need of an off-chip magnetic source and fully integrate the process atop the metal nanoparticle arrays. Using adhesive iron based magnetic strips as the magnetic drive source, circular NiFe beams with 1, 2, 3, and 4 mm diameters were designed and simulated. Calculations predicted maximum achievable actuation of up to 2.5 μm. Processing steps were laid out for a set of integrated devices as a possible predecessor to the newly designed small deflection magnetic actuator.


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Graduation Date





Cho, Hyoung Jin


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science








Release Date

February 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic