Electric field breakdown at micrometre separations

J. M. Torres, R. S. Dhariwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Citations (Scopus)


As manufacturing technology has improved over the past few years, it is inevitable that the size of components to be manufactured has been affected, and the desire to reduce the size of such components is the driving force behind the move towards micro- and nanotechnology. One of the problems is the electrode breakdown at electrode separations for less than a millimetre separation. At large separation, the behaviour of the electrodes has been widely studied and is reasonably well understood. However, some fundamental problems have not been properly addressed such as maximum safe operating voltages and critical dimensions required at the small separations between the different types of materials. A systematic study of electrical breakdown at sub-millimetre separations using materials commonly used in the fabrication of microdevices is being undertaken. Specimens for examination at electrode separations from 500 nm to 25 µm have been made with different electrode configurations, such as flat to flat and flat to point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


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