Clear MEMS standards needed for future IC manufacturing

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 1 December 2002




(2002), "Clear MEMS standards needed for future IC manufacturing", Microelectronics International, Vol. 19 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

Clear MEMS standards needed for future IC manufacturing

Keywords: MEMS, Standards

This month, executives from leading micro- electromechanical systems (MEMS) companies and institutes met at SUSS MicroTec in Garching, Germany, to define standards for international MEMS practice. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMa) International Standards Program, a volunteer- based global program with over 2,400 participants worldwide.

Top industry professionals met to discuss and reach a consensus on a wide range of MEMS issues, from terminology to material characterization.

The consensus is that MEMS standards should be developed in addition to the already existing semiconductor specifications, with the defined goal of having a specific terminology for MEMS technology. (example – high aspect micro structuring). SEMa Standards Program would provide the right infrastructure and volunteer base for this new endeavor.

MEMS technology uses substrates that are different from those applied in the semiconductor industry, such as RF and bio- chemical materials. The participants agreed to define standard test structures to measure optical, electrical and mechanical properties. In regards to wafer handling, it is necessary to identify a standard specifically for MEMS wafers that in addition to conventional semiconductor processing use the wafer backside. The attendees discussed the definition of an exclusion zone for the entire wafer or single die. It was suggested to quantify the amount of acceptable damage to the wafer and define specifications for the handling of wafers with different thickness and deformations.

Especially during the last two years, microelectronics has witnessed an unprecedented user interest in MEMS. Of great interest has been the foundation of many new companies whose desire it has been to commercialize this technology. According to Janusz Bryzek of Transparent Networks, MEMS applications are projected to increase at an annual compounded growth rate of 43 percent from 2000 to 2005.

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