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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Reliability test methodology for MEMS and MOEMS under electrical overstress and electrostatic discharge stress
Author(s): Sandeep Sangameswaran; Jeroen De Coster; Guido Groeseneken; Ingrid J. De Wolf
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Paper Abstract

We present an integrated reliability test methodology for electrostatic discharge (ESD) testing of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). It is shown that conventional ESD test methods for failure detection, like current and voltage waveforms during ESD stress and direct current leakage are insufficient for MEMS. A functionality-based approach using the mechanical response of the MEMS during ESD is needed to accurately and conclusively detect ESD failure in MEMS. A novel test setup with a probe-mountable human body model (HBM) tester is presented for this purpose. This setup can perform simultaneous measurements of MEMS out-of-plane displacement, HBM current and HBM voltage in the MEMS in situ during ESD stress. Using this setup, a few examples are demonstrated that show that traditional electrical characterization is overestimating the ESD robustness of MEMS devices. ESD testing of MEMS is performed at different pressures on RF MEMS actuators and show that more than one type of failure mechanism can occur due to ESD stress. ESD-induced charging and functionality degradation in RF MEMS actuators are also briefly discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 11(2) 021204 doi: 10.1117/1.JMM.11.2.021204
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 11, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Sandeep Sangameswaran, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Jeroen De Coster, IMEC (Belgium)
Guido Groeseneken, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)
Ingrid J. De Wolf, Katholieke Univ. Leuven (Belgium)


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