Micro sleeve bearings intended for micro rotational machinery were fabricated by X-ray lithography and Ni electroplating. Coated to the working surfaces of the bearings was a 900nm thick uniform tungsten hydrocarbon (W-C:H) coating using an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) assisted, hybrid chemical vapor deposition (CVD)/physical vapor deposition (PVD) tool. Tribological characteristics and mechanical properties of as-electrodeposited Ni micro bearings, annealed Ni micro bearings at 800°C, and W-C:H coated micro bearings were investigated. Potential applications of the micro bearings may involve very light contact pressure (5∼30MPa) and high sliding speed, such as micro motors and micro turbines. Conventional pin-on disc test methods on top flat surfaces, (001) planes, cannot effectively predict tribological characteristics because these micro bearings use the sidewall (110 plane) as a working surface. A special micro wear tester and friction tester were developed. Surface morphologies of new and worn bearing surfaces were studied using SEM. Raman Spectroscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) characterized the W-C:H coated micro bearings. Test results of the W-C:H coated micro bearings (wear characteristics and friction) are also presented. W-C:H coated micro bearings had much lower wear rate than uncoated bearings. During the wear test, a transfer layer formed on the counter steel shaft even under very small contact pressure, leading to low steady state friction and high wear resistance.
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Tribological Study of Micro Bearings for MEMS Applications
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Kim, D, Cao, D, Bryant, MD, & Meng, W. "Tribological Study of Micro Bearings for MEMS Applications." Proceedings of the ASME/STLE 2004 International Joint Tribology Conference. ASME/STLE 2004 International Joint Tribology Conference, Parts A and B. Long Beach, California, USA. October 24–27, 2004. pp. 249-257. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/TRIB2004-64156
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