OPUS 5 (11.03.2014 – 10.03.2017)

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The aim of the project financed by Poland’s National Science Centre, entitled “Generation of high vacuum in micro- and nanosystems” is elaboration of the efficient, ion-sorption, MEMS-type (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) vacuum micropump and determination of the mechanisms responsible for generation of vacuum in microcavity (V < 1 cm3).

The problems of generating and maintaining of high vacuum in microdevices are well known and are indicated in the world literature. However, the described and currently used methods of vacuum sealing and technique of MEMS getters allow obtaining only 10‒3 hPa. The project is planned to investigate the fabrication process of several versions of MEMS micropumps and achieve the main goal that is a significant reduction of pressure inside a microcavity. Because the mechanism standing behind a generation of high vacuum in microcavity is unknown, in this project the physical phenomena will be characterized. Our research team as a first presented the MEMS-type ion-sorption micropump for producing high vacuum in microcavity.

The influence of the different parameters (electrode materials, size of a structure, type of pumped gas, magnetic field) on the pumping properties will be examined. Firstly the measurements of various test structures will be carried on in a reference high vacuum chamber. Next the long time working elements of the micropump will be characterized in a series of fundamental experiments (XPS, SIMS, AFM, and interferometry). It will allow distinguishing what is the most important process responsible for gas pumping and how the micropump construction can be optimized to maximize gas ionization, ion sorption efficiency, pumping speed, repeatability and long term stability. In the final phase of the project, the operation of vacuum sealed micro pump will be investigated. Attempts of full integration of the micropump with the selected MEMS microsystems will be made.