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Packaging of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices has proven to be costly and complex, and it has been a significant barrier to the commercialization of MEMS. We present a packaging solution applicable to several common MEMS devices, such as inertial sensors and micromechanical resonators. It involves deposition of a 20 μm layer of epi-polysilicon over unreleased devices to act as a sealing cap, release of the encapsulated parts via an HF vapor release process, and a final seal of the parts in 7 mbar (700 Pa) vacuum. Two types of accelerometers, piezoresistive and capacitive sensing, were fabricated. Piezoresistive accelerometers with a footprint smaller than 3 mm2 had a resolution of 10 μg/√Hz at 250 Hz. Capacitive accelerometers with a 1 mm2 footprint had a resolution of 1 mg√Hz over its 5 kHz bandwidth. Resonators with a quality factor as high as 14,000 and resonant frequency from 50 kHz to 10 MHz have also been built. More than 100 capacitive accelerometers and 100 resonators were tested, and greater than 90% of the resonators and accelerometers were functional.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003