THIN FILM RESONATORS

Environment-induced failure modes of thin film resonators

[+] Author Affiliations
R. Kazinczi, J. R. Mollinger, A. Bossche

Delft University of Technology, DIMES, Faculty of Information Technology and Systems, Department of Electrical Engineering, Laboratory of Electronic Instrumentation, Mekelweg 4, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands E-mail: r.kazinczi@its.tudelft.nl

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 1(1), 63-69 (Apr 01, 2002). doi:10.1117/1.1434979
History: Received June 21, 2001; Revised November 6, 2001; Revised November 12, 2001; Accepted November 21, 2001
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Resonant mode micromechanical devices have great potential due to their high sensitivity and relatively easy signal processing. As they are also sensitive to environmental effects, vacuum packaging is often required, which largely increases the costs. The current study focuses on environment induced reliability problems and degradation processes. An adsorption-induced stiffening effect was observed on thin SiNx and SiCx cantilever beams in air. The resonance frequency gradually increases in time. When the cantilever is subjected to mechanical shock or large deflection, the resonance frequency suddenly drops, and then increases again. Air, increased humidity, argon rich, and nitrogen rich atmosphere influence the stiffening and the shock response behavior. The effects are explained with a surface oxidation model. The oxide layer introduces stress in the structure increasing the overall stiffness, while mechanical shocks crack the layer. Silicon resonators gather airborne particles from the atmosphere due to electrostatic charging. The mass loading decreases the resonant frequency. These mechanisms lead to unstable resonance frequency and eventually to failure of the resonant mode device. Tests in inert environment suggest, that cheap, inert atmospheric packaging will provide good performance and reliable operation. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

© 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

R. Kazinczi ; J. R. Mollinger and A. Bossche
"Environment-induced failure modes of thin film resonators", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 1(1), 63-69 (Apr 01, 2002). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.1434979


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