Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems combine electrical as well as mechanical components on a single chip. Therefore, the reliable testing of MEMS requires the characterization of both the electrical and the mechanical properties.
Application Example: In-Plane and Out-of-Plane MEMS Stiffness Testing
For the accurate quantification of the mechanical stiffness of suspended structures on a MEMS chip, in-plane and out-of-plane compression testing is performed. The FT-MTA03 Micromechanical Testing and Assembly System is used to apply a force vertically onto each of the suspended structures while recording the resulting deformation. From the resulting force-versus-deformation data, the stiffness, spring linearity, hysteresis and repeatability of the MEMS structure can be quantified. During the in-plane testing, the force needs to be applied within a narrow gap. Therefore, the FT-S-LAT Lateral Microforce Sensing Probe is used. Its geometry enables the contacting tip to be placed within the narrow gap and to apply a horizontal force.
Application Example: Fatigue Testing of MEMS Structures
To assess the life-time and failure of movable MEMS structures, the FT-MTA03 can be used for fatigue testing. For this purpose, a cyclic load (force-controlled) is applied to the suspended structure while measuring the deformation. By continuously monitoring the resulting force-versus-deformation data, any changes in the material (such as the initiation or propagation of cracks) can be detected.