Polydimethylglutarimide (PMGI) as a sacrificial material for SU-8 surface-micromachining

Ian Grant Foulds, R. W. Johnstone, M. Parameswaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


SU-8 is finding increased use as a structural polymer MEMS material due to its biocompatibility, mechanical properties and low cost. The goal of this work is to expand the use of SU-8 through the creation of SU-8-based surface-micromachining processes that use polydimethylglutarimide (PMGI) as a sacrificial layer. PMGI is a deep-UV positive resist, used mainly for bilayer lift-off processes. PMGI is a good sacrificial layer candidate, as it is spinable at a wide variety of thicknesses, is photopatternable and has a glass transition temperature greater than the processing temperatures required for SU-8. PMGI is shown to be useful as a sacrificial layer for SU-8 surface micromachining processes with one freestanding layer with patterned metal, single-layer devices with more than one thickness, and two layer devices. Two classes of devices were fabricated with the developed processes. The first class of devices are compliant mechanisms, including bent-beam actuators, thermal isolation platforms and out-of-plane grippers. The second class of devices fabricated are freely moving devices such as hinged plates and gears, which require the use of true kinematic joints, such as scissor hinges, staple hinges and pin joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075011
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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