Project Description


  • 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.

M2i Project:

  • Determination of precise surface topology, deflections, spring constants and adhesion forces in dismantled and functional MEMS.
  • Forces are measured directly on the MEMS membrane.

Industrial benefits:

  • 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.

Minimization of spontaneous adhesion and adhesion control in MEMS - NXP