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4 May 2012 Interferometry of AlN-based microcantilevers to determine the material properties and failure mechanisms
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Micro-electro-mechanical systems are exposed to a variety of environmental stimuli, making a prediction of operational reliability difficult. Here, we investigate environmental effects on properties of piezoelectrically actuated microcantilevers, where AlN is used as actuation material. The environmental effects to be considered include thermal and humid cycling, as well as harsh electrical loading performed under normal conditions. Investigated properties are defined for the static and dynamic behavior of microcantilevers. A Twyman-Green interferometer, operating in both stroboscopic regime and time-average interferometry mode, is used as a metrology tool. The initial deflection and frequency changes of the first resonance mode of the microcantilevers are monitored during accelerated thermal aging tests, humidity tests, as well as harsh electrical loading and fatigue tests. Finally, the resonant fatigue tests accelerated by application of a high voltage are accomplished to evaluate a lifetime of microcantilevers. Monitoring the micromechanical behaviors of devices driven by AlN during the lifetime tests assists monitoring of their long-term stability. FEM calculation is used to identify critical areas of stress concentration in the cantilever structure and to further explain various failure mechanisms.
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Christophe Gorecki, Katarzyna Krupa, and Michał Józwik "Interferometry of AlN-based microcantilevers to determine the material properties and failure mechanisms", Proc. SPIE 8430, Optical Micro- and Nanometrology IV, 84300D (4 May 2012);

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