Having an excellent shape memory effect, titanium–nickel (TiNi) thin films are often used for fabrication of microactuators in microelectromechanical systems. In this work, the Ga+ focused ion beam (FIB) etching characteristics of TiNi thin films has been investigated. The thin films were deposited on Si(1 1 1) wafers by co-sputtering NiTi and Ti targets using a magnetron-sputtering system. Some patterns have been etched on the surface of the films by FIB. Atomic force microscopy has been used to analyze the surface morphology of the etched areas. It is found that the etched depth depends linearly on the ion dose per area with a slope of 0.259 μm/(nC/μm2). However, the etching depth decreases with increasing the ion beam current. The root-mean-square (RMS) surface roughness changes nonlinearly with ion dose and reaches a minimum of about 5.00 nm at a dose of about 0.45 nC/μm2. The RMS decreases with increasing ion beam current and reaches about 4.00 nm as the ion beam current is increased to 2 nA.
|Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
|Published - Nov 2003