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Reliability and stability of thin-film amorphous silicon MEMS on glass substrates

  • P. M. Sousa (a1), V. Chu (a1) and J. P. Conde (a1) (a2)

Abstract

In this work, we present a reliability and stability study of doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (n+-a-Si:H) thin-film silicon MEMS resonators. The n+-a-Si:H structural material was deposited using radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (RF-PECVD) and processed using surface micromachining at a maximum deposition temperature of 110 ºC. n+-a-Si:H resonant bridges can withstand the industry standard of 1011 cycles at high load with no structural damage. Tests performed up to 3x1011 cycles showed a negligible level of degradation in Q during the entire cycling period which in addition shows the high stability of the resonator. In measurements both in vacuum and in air a resonance frequency shift which is proportional to the number of cycles is established. This shift is between 0.1 and 0.4%/1x1011 cycles depending on the applied V DC. When following the resonance frequency in vacuum during cyclic loading, desorption of air molecules from the resonator surface is responsible for an initial higher resonance frequency shift before the linear dependence is established.

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Keywords

Reliability and stability of thin-film amorphous silicon MEMS on glass substrates

  • P. M. Sousa (a1), V. Chu (a1) and J. P. Conde (a1) (a2)

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