Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Derrick Langley, PhD.


Sub-mm3 spherical microrobots are being researched as a path towards reconfigurable wireless networks and programmable matter. The microrobot design requires a spheroidal microdevice package compatible with solar energy collection, wireless sensing, and electrostatic actuation mechanisms to be developed. Throughout this research, a variety of MEMS fabrication techniques were evaluated with regards to their applicability to the packaging process. SF6-based plasma was determined to be a preferable alternative to wet HNA etching when producing repeatable bulk isotropic etches in silicon. The effect of silicon crystal orientation on etch variance and anisotropy was also investigated. HNA polishing was demonstrated as an effective method of reducing undercutting, surface roughness, and anisotropy. MatLab image processing routines were developed and incorporated into etch analysis, providing an efficient method of data collection. A method of performing sophisticated wafer alignment and photolithography processes by leveraging existing cleanroom devices was proposed. This research established a path forward for an advanced packaging scheme designed to move microelectronics packages away from the planar circuit board configurations of the past and into the autonomous architectures of the future. The proposed design is applicable to a wide variety of microelectronics applications while meeting the requirements of the sub-mm3 spherical microrobot system.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number