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Proceedings Paper

Reliability of a thermally actuated MEMS VOA for optical component applications
Author(s): Ryan M. Hickey; Robert E. Mallard; James Wylde; Thomas Shepperd; John Panton
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Paper Abstract

This paper will present the concluding results of a comprehensive study aimed at developing a model for predicting the overall reliability of an asymmetric thermal actuator. This actuator is designed for co-packaged use as a variable optical attenuator (VOA) within a 10 Gbps optical receiver. This paper will address the limitations of a previously reported vision recognition system. It is shown that the electrical resistance change correlates well with the displacement change over time, and as a result, simple in-situ resistance monitoring for degradation detection can easily be realized. The novel methodology employed to estimate the lifetime performance of the MEMS VOA is also presented; whereby, the accelerated ageing wearout model derived from 93,600 device hours is combined with the module characteristics, and all associated error coefficients in a Monte Carlo simulation. Simulation results will provide the end user with a 3 sigma confidence prediction of the receiver over-life attenuation curve and all end of life conditions associated with the MEMS component. It will be demonstrated that when designed properly, a thermal actuator will provide predictable accurate and reliable stability over life.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 January 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5716, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS IV, (22 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.590835
Show Author Affiliations
Ryan M. Hickey, Bookham Technology (Canada)
Robert E. Mallard, Bookham Technology (Canada)
James Wylde, Bookham Technology (Canada)
Thomas Shepperd, Bookham Technology (Canada)
John Panton, Bookham Technology (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5716:
Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS IV
Danelle M. Tanner; Rajeshuni Ramesham, Editor(s)

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