Microelectronic Engineering
Conference paper

Cantilevers with nano-heaters for thermomechanical storage application

View publication


We present the fabrication of thermomechanical cantilevers with nanometer-sized heaters used for data-storage application as implemented in the large two-dimensional cantilever array, known as the Millipede concept. Our goal is to explore how the power consumption of these cantilevers for the thermomechanical writing and reading process can be reduced by reducing the size of the heater structure. Such data are crucial for predicting the power consumption and data rate of storage devices using state-of-the-art CMOS manufacturing technology to achieve its associated minimum feature sizes. We describe the fabrication process and critical issues in connection with a complex device process that merges mix and match e-beam/optical lithography with the micro/nano electromechanical system (M/NEMS) fabrication technique. Fabricated cantilevers typically have a thickness of 100 nm, heater structures with lateral dimensions down to 180 nm, and critical feature alignment in the 50 nm range. We also present first experiments with such cantilevers, which highlight the scaling of the heater energy for the writing process provided by a nanometer-sized thermal constriction. © 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.