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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Peyman Rafiee, Golta Khatibi and Michael Zehetbauer

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the major reliability issues of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) under mechanical and environmental loading…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the major reliability issues of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) under mechanical and environmental loading conditions. Furthermore, a comprehensive study on the nonlinear behavior of silicon MEMS devices is presented and different aspects of this phenomenon are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

Regarding the reliability investigations, the most important failure aspects affecting the proper operation of the MEMS components with focus on those caused by environmental and mechanical loads are reviewed. These studies include failures due to fatigue loads, mechanical vibration, mechanical shock, humidity, temperature and particulate contamination. In addition, the influence of squeeze film air damping on the dynamic response of MEMS devices is briefly discussed. A further subject of this paper is discussion of studies on the nonlinearity of silicon MEMS. For this purpose, after a description of the basic principles of nonlinearity, the consequences of nonlinear phenomena such as frequency shift, hysteresis and harmonic generation and their effects on the device performance are reviewed. Special attention is paid to the mode coupling effect between the resonant modes as a result of energy transfer because of the nonlinearity of silicon. For a better understanding of these effects, the nonlinear behavior of silicon is demonstrated by using the example of Si cantilever beams.

Findings

It is shown that environmental and mechanical loads can influence on proper operation of the MEMS components and lead to early fracture. In addition, it is demonstrated that nonlinearity modifies dynamic response and leads to new phenomena such as frequency shift and mode coupling. Finally, some ideas are given as possible future areas of research works.

Originality/value

This is a review paper and aimed to review the latest manuscripts published in the field of reliability and nonlinearity of the MEMS structures.

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Peyman Rafiee, Golta Khatibi and Francesco Solazzi

The purpose of this study is to address the nonlinear oscillations of single-crystal silicon micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers subjected to mechanical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the nonlinear oscillations of single-crystal silicon micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers subjected to mechanical excitation.

Methodology/approach

The nonlinear behavior was detected and analyzed by using experimental, analytical and numerical approaches. Piezoelectric shaker as a source of mechanical excitation and differential laser Doppler vibrometer in combination with a micro system analyzer were used in the experimental effort. Two types of devices considered included nonencapsulated samples and samples encapsulated in nitrogen gas compressed between two glasses. Numerical and analytical investigations were conducted to analyze the nonlinear response. A novel method has been suggested to calculate the nonlinear parameters. The obtained experimental, numerical and analytical results are in good agreement.

Findings

It has been found that the nonlinearity leads to a shift in frequencies and generates higher harmonics, but, most importantly, reveals new phenomena, such as the jump and instability of the vibration amplitudes and phases.

Originality/value

It has been shown that under the constant excitation force, the MEMS device can work in both linear and nonlinear regions. The role of the beat phenomenon has been also addressed and discussed. It has been found that the attributes of the nonlinear response are strongly dependent on the level and duration of the excitation. It is concluded that the nonlinear response of the systems is strongly dependent on the level of the excitation energy. It has been also concluded that larger quality factors are able to enhance dramatically the nonlinear effects and vice versa.

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

Keywords

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