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Mechanism of temperature-induced plastic deformation of amorphous dielectric films for MEMS applications

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2 Author(s)
Zhiqiang Cao ; Dept. of Manuf. Eng., Boston Univ., MA, USA ; Xin Zhang

This paper presents a microstructure based mechanism which elucidates seams as a source of density change and voids as a source of plastic deformation, accompanied by a viscous flow. This theory was then applied to explain a series of experimental results that are related to thermal cycling as well as annealing of amorphous dielectric films, such as plasma enhanced physical vapor deposited (PECVD) silicon oxide (SiOx) films, including stress hysteresis generation and reduction and coefficient of thermal expansion changes. In particular, the thickness effect was examined; PECVD SiOx films with a thickness varying from 1 to 40 μm were studied, as certain demanding applications in MEMS require such thick films serving as heat/electrical insulation layers.

Published in:

18th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 2005. MEMS 2005.

Date of Conference:

30 Jan.-3 Feb. 2005