Testing the reliability and service life of MEMS

MEMS sensors and actuators are key functional elements in many devices and systems and, more and more often, they have safety-related functions too. Thus they have to be reliable and guaranteed throughout the system’s entire service life often under challenging operating conditions.

Therefore verification of new MEMS components has to take place under exactly these conditions. Vacuum or climatic test chambers are used to simulate the pressure loading or air humidity influences and stimuli like mechanical excitation or radiation are applied. The long time function stability is verified in accelerated aging tests.

Since, unlike conventional semiconductor elements, MEMS feature moving, micromechanical components as their key functional elements, the capability of measuring the dynamic, mechanical system behaviour is extremely important during reliability and service life tests.

Polytec’s Micro System Analyzer offers you all the relevant measuring modes for this purpose. The highly versatile measurement system can also be equipped with special lenses with large stand-off distancess to measure both static and dynamic component behavior from outside a test chamber.

Vibration measurements on MEMS in a vacuum chamber

The influence of ambient pressure on an MEMS module’s dynamic properties is measured with the Polytec MSA, which is used either in conjunction with a vacuum chamber or in combination with a vacuum probe station for measurements at wafer level.

Microstructure characterization

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