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Characterization of Encapsulated Micromechanical Resonators Sealed and Coated With Polycrystalline SiC

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9 Author(s)
Yoneoka, S. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA ; Roper, Christopher S. ; Candler, Robert N. ; Chandorkar, Saurabh A.
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This paper presents the characterization of sealed microelectromechanical devices and their packaging fabricated in a polycrystalline 3C silicon carbide (poly-SiC) thin-film encapsulation process. In this fabrication technique, devices are sealed with a nominally 2-??m low-pressure chemical vapor deposition poly-SiC, and the device layer is simultaneously coated with a nominally 0.2- ??m poly-SiC thin film. Device characterization includes measurement of the resonant frequency and the quality factor of double-ended tuning-fork micromechanical resonators, which have a Si-SiC composite beam structure. Experimental results show that the pressure inside the packaging can be controlled from 447 Pa to 15.5 kPa with a 400??C annealing process. The frequency drifts of the encapsulated resonators are less than the frequency noise level (??10.6 ppm) measured over 29 days at 84.6??C ??0.1??C, which suggests that the poly-SiC thin-film packaging technique can offer hermetic packaging for various applications in microelectromechanical systems including inertial sensors. In addition to the packaging performance, the temperature coefficient of Young's modulus for poly-SiC is derived from the resonant-frequency change of resonators with temperature. The reduction of the quality factor due to the poly-SiC coating, predicted in the theoretical model, is confirmed by measurements.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

April 2010

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