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10 August 2000 Electrostatic discharge/electrical overstress susceptibility in MEMS: a new failure mode
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Proceedings Volume 4180, MEMS Reliability for Critical Applications; (2000)
Event: Micromachining and Microfabrication, 2000, Santa Clara, CA, United States
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electrical overstress (EOS) damage of Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) has been identified as a new failure mode. This failure mode has not been previously recognized or addressed primarily due to the mechanical nature and functionality of these systems, as well as the physical failure signature that resembles stiction. Because many MEMS devices function by electrostatic actuation, the possibility of these devices not only being susceptible to ESD or EOS damage but also having a high probability of suffering catastrophic failure doe to ESD or EOS is very real. Results from previous experiments have shown stationary comb fingers adhered to the ground plane on MEMS devices tested in shock, vibration, and benign environments [1,2]. Using Sandia polysilicon microengines, we have conducted tests to establish and explain the EDS/EOS failure mechanism of MEMS devices. These devices were electronically and optically inspected prior to and after ESD and EOS testing. This paper will address the issues surrounding MEMS susceptibility to ESD and EOS damage as well as describe the experimental method and results found from EDS and EOS testing. The tests were conducting using conventional IC failure analysis and reliability assessment characterization tools. In this paper we will also present a thermal model to accurately depict the heat exchange between an electrostatic comb finger and the ground plane during an ESD event.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jeremy A. Walraven, Jerry M. Soden, Danelle M. Tanner, Paiboon Tangyunyong, Edward I. Cole Jr., Richard E. Anderson, and Lloyd W. Irwin "Electrostatic discharge/electrical overstress susceptibility in MEMS: a new failure mode", Proc. SPIE 4180, MEMS Reliability for Critical Applications, (10 August 2000);

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