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Long-Term and Accelerated Life Testing of a Novel Single-Wafer Vacuum Encapsulation for MEMS Resonators

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10 Author(s)
Candler, R.N. ; Dept. of Electr. & Mech. Eng., Stanford Univ., CA ; Hopcroft, M.A. ; Bongsang Kim ; Woo-Tae Park
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We have developed a single-wafer vacuum encapsulation for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), using a thick (20-mum) polysilicon encapsulation to package micromechanical resonators in a pressure <1 Pa. The encapsulation is robust enough to withstand standard back-end processing steps, such as wafer dicing, die handling, and injection molding of plastic. We have continuously monitored the pressure of encapsulated resonators at ambient temperature for more than 10 000 h and have seen no measurable change of pressure inside the encapsulation. We have subjected packaged resonators to >600 cycles of -50 to 80degC, and no measurable change in cavity pressure was seen. We have also performed accelerated leakage tests by driving hydrogen gas in and out of the encapsulation at elevated temperature. Two results have come from these hydrogen diffusion tests. First, hydrogen diffusion rates through the encapsulation at temperatures 300-400degC have been determined. Second, the package was shown to withstand multiple temperature cycles between room and 300-400degC without showing any adverse affects. The high robustness and stability of the encapsulation can be attributed to the clean, high-temperature environment during the sealing process

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Dec. 2006

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