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PECVD Silicon Carbide as a Thin Film Packaging Material for Microfabricated Neural Electrodes

  • Allison Hess (a1), Rocco Parro (a1), Jiangang Du (a1), Jeremy Dunning (a2), Maximillian Scardelletti (a3) and Christian A. Zorman (a1)...

This paper reports our effort to develop amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) films for use as hermetic thin film coatings for mechanically-flexible neural electrodes. In our work, the a-SiC films were deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) using two distinct methods, namely a single precursor approach using trimethylsilane, and a dual precursor approach using methane (CH4) and silane (SiH4). The mechanical properties of films deposited on Si substrates were characterized using the wafer curvature and load-deflection methods. The effectiveness of the films as moisture barriers for polyimide substrates was characterized by measuring the leakage currents of SiC-coated interdigitated electrode structures soaked in PBS. A microfabricated prototype of the flat interface nerve electrode (FINE) based on a flexible polyimide substrate and a PECVD SiC capping layer was fabricated using a monolithic process based on conventional micromachining techniques. To facilitate this approach, a reactive ion etching process was developed that exhibited high etch rates and high selectively to the SiC films.

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MRS Online Proceedings Library (OPL)
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1946-4274
  • URL: /core/journals/mrs-online-proceedings-library-archive
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