Stress gradient modification of the electroplated Ni-diamond nanocomposite for MEMS fabrication

Yi Chia Lee*, Yu-Ting Cheng, Wen-Syang Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper investigates the formation of stress gradient in electroplated Ni-based nanocomposite films and presents a process scheme to effectively reduce the stress by lowering plating current density. The stress gradient is characterized by measuring the radius of curvature from the surface profile of Ni-based micro-cantilever beams. For the case of the Ni-based films plated with the current density from 15.3 down to 0.8 mA/cm 2, the stress gradient of the films is formed in the range of -7.13 to -3.23 MPa/μm. According to the cross sectional SEM images, it is found that the Ni-based film plated with 0.8 mA/cm 2 can have a uniformly distributed grain size that can result in a lower stress gradient. By lowering the plating current density from 15.3 to 0.8 mA/cm 2, about 41% and 21% of the stress gradient reduction can be realized in the Ni and Ni-diamond nanocomposite films, respectively, which can be utilized for MEMS resonator fabrication without having structural warpage. Furthermore, experimental results show that the performance of the Ni-diamond nanocomposite resonator can be enhanced in terms of the increase of resonant frequency and quality factor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 29 Feb 2012

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