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Fatigue study of nano-scale silicon nitride thin films using a novel electrostatic actuator

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3 Author(s)
Wen-Hsien Chuang ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Maryland Inst. for Syst. Res. Univ., USA ; R. K. Fettig ; R. Ghodssi

We report for the first time the fatigue study of nanoscale silicon nitride (SiN) thin films using a novel electrostatic actuator. The mechanical-amplifier (MA) devices made in SiN thin films can apply controllable tensile stress (2.0-7.8 GPa) to test structures with relatively low actuation voltages (5.7-35.4 VRMS) at their resonant frequencies. With the recently developed experimental techniques inside a focused-ion-beam (FIB) system, in-situ fatigue measurements are performed on SiN test structures with a linewidth of 200 nm. The SiN test structures are found to exhibit time-delayed failures with a continuous increase in their compliance. By reducing the applied tensile stress to 3.8 GPa, the test structures can survive cyclic loadings up to 10 cycles.

Published in:

The 13th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems, 2005. Digest of Technical Papers. TRANSDUCERS '05.  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

5-9 June 2005