- Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) show often unwanted spontaneous adhesion that limits their functionality. This effect must be eliminated or minimized to ensure reliable MEMS.
- Understanding and determination of the effect of contact forces and areas as well as surface energy will enable control and prevention of spontaneous adhesion.
- The project aimed to determine the adhesive forces present in current MEMS structures such as galvanic switches and Si membranes in e.g. accelerometers and resonators.
- Determination of precise surface topology, deflections, spring constants and adhesion forces in dismantled and functional MEMS.
- Forces are measured directly on the MEMS membrane.
- Completely assembled switches showed no adhesion, whereas adhesion was detected for test contacts in air, thus demonstrating a reliable release of the contact (see figure).
- Reliability is a key differentiator in the high-frequency switch market with a potential revenue of US$ 100-250 million for NXP.