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Reliability issues of MEMS resonators

Reliability issues of MEMS resonators

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This chapter introduces the terms and concepts needed to describe and evaluate MEMS resonator reliability. It is interesting to note that the reliability theory concepts are also used by actuaries in calculating life insurance premiums. Moreover, the life span of human provides a useful analogy for component reliability as well. This text describes some of the main points of various reliability issues of MEMS resonators arising due to its process technology, operation, and transduction method, the failures due to the packaging of these devices, aging, and frequency drift. Lord Kelvin stated, “When you can measure what you are speaking out and can express it in numbers, you know something about it. But when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge of the subject is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind”. So, we will first discuss the quantification of reliability for the system.

Chapter Contents:

  • 11.1 Introduction
  • 11.2 MEMS reliability
  • 11.3 The bathtub curve
  • 11.3.1 Failure rate over the life of a product
  • 11.4 Reliability evaluation methodologies
  • 11.5 Acceleration factors
  • 11.5.1 Lifetime units
  • 11.6 Failure modes and mechanisms
  • 11.6.1 Design phase failure modes
  • 11.6.1.1 Functional failure modes
  • 11.6.1.2 MEMS material failure modes
  • 11.6.2 Manufacturing failure modes
  • 11.6.2.1 Front-end process defects
  • 11.6.2.2 Back-end process failures
  • 11.6.3 In-use failures
  • 11.6.3.1 Mechanical failure modes
  • 11.6.3.2 Electrical failure modes
  • 11.6.4 Environmental failure modes
  • 11.6.4.1 Radiation
  • 11.6.4.2 Electrostatic MEMS sensors and actuators
  • 11.6.4.3 Radiation-hardening MEMS
  • 11.6.4.4 Anodic oxidation and galvanic corrosion of silicon
  • 11.6.4.5 Galvanic corrosion during release of HF
  • 11.6.4.6 Metal corrosion
  • 11.7 Root cause and failure analysis
  • 11.7.1 Failure mode and effects analysis
  • 11.7.2 RPN (risk priority number) levels
  • 11.8 Analytical methods for failure analysis
  • 11.8.1 Laser Doppler vibrometry
  • 11.8.2 Interferometry (ZYGO optical profiler)
  • 11.8.2.1 ZeGage™ Pro optical profiler
  • 11.8.2.2 NewView™ 9000 3D optical surface profiler
  • 11.8.2.3 Nexview™ NX2 3D optical surface profiler
  • 11.8.3 Scanning electron microscopy
  • 11.8.4 Electron beam scatter detector (EBSD)
  • 11.8.5 Transmission electron microscopy
  • 11.8.6 Focused ion beam (FIB)
  • 11.8.7 Atomic force microscopy
  • 11.8.8 Auger analysis
  • 11.8.9 Electron beam-induced current
  • 11.9 Reliability study of resonator
  • 11.9.1 Process and materials
  • 11.10 Long-term stability
  • 11.10.1 Stiffening effect
  • 11.10.2 Shock response
  • 11.10.3 Environmental influence
  • 11.10.4 "Flycatcher" effect
  • 11.11 Reliability of wafer-level vacuum package
  • 11.11.1 Autoclave test
  • 11.11.2 High-temperature storage life test
  • 11.11.3 Mechanical strength of bonding
  • 11.11.3.1 Aging
  • 11.11.3.2 Shock resistance
  • 11.11.3.3 Vibration operation
  • 11.11.3.4 Thermal cycling
  • 11.12 Summary
  • References

Inspec keywords: micromechanical devices; insurance; micromechanical resonators; reliability; reliability theory; failure analysis

Other keywords: reliability theory concepts; MEMS resonator reliability; MEMS resonators; life insurance premiums; useful analogy; reliability issues; component reliability

Subjects: Maintenance and reliability; Reliability theory; Reliability

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