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18 August 1999 Failure analysis of worn surface-micromachined microengines
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Proceedings Volume 3880, MEMS Reliability for Critical and Space Applications; (1999)
Event: Symposium on Micromachining and Microfabrication, 1999, Santa Clara, CA, United States
Failure analysis tools have been applied to analyze failing polysilicon microengines. These devices were stressed to failure under accelerated conditions in both oxidizing and non-oxidizing environments. The dominant failure mechanism of these microengines was identified as wear of rubbing surfaces. This often results in either seized microengines or microengines with broken pin joints. Analysis of these failed polysilicon devices found that wear debris was produced in both oxidizing and non-oxidizing environments. By varying the relative percent humidity (%RH), we observed an increase in the amount of wear debris with decreasing humidity. Plan view imaging under scanning electron microscopy revealed build-up of wear debris on the surface of microengines. Focused ion beam (FIB) cross sections revealed the location and build-up of wear debris within the microengine. Seized regions were also observed in the pin joint area using FIB processing. By using transmission electron microscopy in conjunction with energy dispersive x- ray spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy, we were able to identify wear debris produced in low (1.8% RH, medium and high (39% RH) humidities.
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Jeremy A. Walraven, Thomas J. Headley, Ann B. Campbell, and Danelle M. Tanner "Failure analysis of worn surface-micromachined microengines", Proc. SPIE 3880, MEMS Reliability for Critical and Space Applications, (18 August 1999);

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