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Elimination of extra spring effect at the step-up anchor of surface-micromachined structure

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4 Author(s)
Gill, J.J.-Y. ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Ngo, L.V. ; Nelson, P.R. ; Kim, J.Y.

This paper describes the concept, analysis, fabrication, and testing of a new anchor for surface-micromachined beams. The anchor is designed to eliminate the extra spring effect at the step-up anchor common in conventional surface-micromachined beams, so that the boundary condition follows the ideal anchoring condition more accurately. The idea is to form a reinforcement hump at the beam anchor through a minor modification in the sacrificial-layer mask. No modification in the fabrication process is necessary. Formation of the reinforcement hump is tested using the multiuser MEMS Process (MUMP) foundry service at the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC). The effectiveness of the new anchor is analyzed by finite-element analysis based on the actual anchor geometry obtained from the fabrication directly. Experimental verification is provided by making overhanging microcantilever pairs, one with the new anchor and the other with conventional, through MUMP's and postprocessing and comparing their frequency responses. Small-signal frequency response measurements are made with a modified Michaelson interferometer. Resonant frequency of a 2-μm-thick 300-μm-long polysilicon cantilever with the new anchor differed by less than 0.1% from the ideal anchor case. In comparison, the resonant frequency of the same beam with a conventional anchor is off by over 1%

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 1998

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