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22 January 2007 Fracture strength of SOI springs in MEMS micromirrors
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This paper discusses the fracture strength study of torsion springs in MEMS microscanners, which are fabricated in silicon-on-insulator (SOI) with deep-reactive-ion-etch (DRIE) process. High performance microscanners are of particular interest for scanning laser projection displays. To produce high resolution images, scanners are required to rotate with large actuation angles (>10 degrees mechanical angle) at designated resonant frequencies. While the designs are pushed closer to material limits, it is essential to acquire knowledge of single-crystal-silicon's fracture strength. We have designed samples for fracture strength tests, which reach failure angle (> 20 degrees) with low driving voltage (< 50 volts) under vacuum. The tests are performed with real-time optical feedback to ensure resonance operations. A voltage ramp is applied to scanners until fractures occur; the ramp-rate and starting angle are chosen such that failures occur within thirty minutes of operation. Torsional stresses at fracture are calculated from failure angles via an ANSYS(R) model. In the experiment, forty samples from two spring designs with a cross-section of 14x30 um and a length of 240 um are tested. Because fracture angles scatter around a mean value, Weibull statistics is used to treat the characteristic behaviors of the tested samples to better interpret the test results. The Weibull characteristic fracture strengths are 2.97 GPa and 2.58 GPa. With a stress limit of less than 2 GPa, we can achieve a 86% reliability SVGA microscanner design with a 1 mm diameter, a 32 KHz resonance frequency, and a single-side mechanical scan angle of 13 degrees.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shu-Ting Hsu, Alexander Wolter, Wolf-Dietrich Owe, and Harald Schenk "Fracture strength of SOI springs in MEMS micromirrors", Proc. SPIE 6466, MOEMS and Miniaturized Systems VI, 64660E (22 January 2007);


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