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Proceedings Paper

Anodic oxidation and reliability of MEMS polysilicon electrodes at high relative humidity and high voltages
Author(s): Herbert R. Shea; Arman Gasparyan; Carolyn D. White; Robert B. Comizzoli; David Abusch-Magder; Susanne Arney
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Paper Abstract

We present a full factorial study of the effect of relative humidity and voltage on the oxidation of surface-micromachined poly-silicon wiring and electrodes. Our system consists of 500 nm thick poly-Si wires and electrodes insulated from the substrate wafer by 600 nm of Si-rch SixNy, fabricated using a surface-micromachinging process. In dry ambients, oxidation or damage to the bottom poly-Si layer (the Poly0 layer) in MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices occurs so slowly that little can be learned in a timely manner, even when stressing the electrodes at electric fields close to dielectric breakdown. We observe however that in ambient with elevated relative humidity the Poly0 wires and electrodes anodically oxidize within a short period of time when operated at moderately large voltages. Only the most positively biased poly-Si structures oxidize, and we describe the anodic oxidation and association volume expansion as a function of a number of accelerating factors including relative humidity and voltage. A threshold is observed in relative humidity bot not in voltage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 August 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4180, MEMS Reliability for Critical Applications, (10 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.395700
Show Author Affiliations
Herbert R. Shea, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
Arman Gasparyan, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
Carolyn D. White, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
Robert B. Comizzoli, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
David Abusch-Magder, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)
Susanne Arney, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4180:
MEMS Reliability for Critical Applications
Russell A. Lawton, Editor(s)

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