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Proceedings Paper

Testing reliability of MEMS materials in liquids
Author(s): Thomas P. Kuehn; S. Mubassar Ali; Susan C. Mantell; Ellen K. Longmire
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Paper Abstract

MEMS are increasingly being considered for applications that involve immersion in liquids. However, there are very little reliability data for MEMS structures in liquids environments. In this study, an apparatus was developed which enables the investigation of fatigue failure of MEMS in liquids. MEMS cantilever beams were mounted on a PZT piezoelectric actuator and immersed in a liquid. A laser is reflected off the tip of the vibrating cantilever and onto a position-sensing photo-diode device (PSD) to obtain position data. From this data resonance frequency can be extracted for long-term monitoring. Cantilevers are resonated for at least 108 cycles. This apparatus allows for the testing of many combinations of materials and environments. For this study, the fatigue performance in liquid of silicon nitride cantilever beams was evaluated and compared to single crystal silicon cantilever beams. Tests were conducted in deionized water and a saline solution. Silicon nitride exhibited no long-term degradation of resonance frequency within measurement limits in air, DI water, and saline environments. Silicon exhibited a steady decrease in resonance. Results showed that this method could be extended to conduct reliability studies on other MEMS materials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 January 2007
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6463, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS VI, 64630L (19 January 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.706552
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas P. Kuehn, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
S. Mubassar Ali, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
Susan C. Mantell, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
Ellen K. Longmire, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6463:
Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS VI
Allyson L. Hartzell; Rajeshuni Ramesham, Editor(s)

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