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Two new types of on-chip tests have been designed in order to evaluate the elastic Young modulus and the fracture strength of polysilicon used in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The former is a pure tension test, while the latter is a single-edge-notched tension test. The actuation in both tests is obtained by means of an ad hoc designed layout of parallel plates capacitors applying sufficiently high forces to reach significant strains in the tensile specimens and complete failure of the notched specimens. The pure tension tests on 20 specimens showed a low dispersion and gave a Young modulus for the polysilicon of 143 GPa. A total of 92 notched specimens were tested up to failure. The experimental results, supported by finite-element simulations, gave a value of the maximum stress for the notched specimens in the range 4144-4568 MPa.
Date of Publication: April 2004