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Determination of mechanical parameters for rotating MEMS structures as a function of deposition method

Lookup NU author(s): Sorin Soare, Professor Steve BullORCiD, Dr Adrian OilaORCiD, Professor Anthony O'Neill, Professor Nick Wright, Dr Alton Horsfall


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The dimensions of microelectronic devices are constantly being reduced due to the increasing operational demands imposed such as higher working frequencies, higher component density and lower power consumption. This affects the geometrical dimensions of the metallisation, i.e. its width and thickness. The mechanical properties of very thin films are considerably different from those of bulk materials and, also, the deposition method may influence the mechanical behaviour of the components. In order to obtain reliable metallisation it is therefore important to assess accurately the mechanical parameters of the interconnecting lines. As part of designing, developing and manufacturing of a stress micro-sensor there is a need to extract properties useful for performance prediction such as yield stress or creep relaxation behaviour. Part of the data may be obtained by nanoindentation but to have a more complete view, finite element analysis of the indentation cycle has to be employed. In this study nanoindentation testing was carried out at various depths on sputtered and evaporated aluminium layers with different thicknesses deposited on (100) silicon. The loading curves were then simulated by FEA and the results compared to identify the yield properties of the coating. Modelling data for thicker samples closely follows experimental data but for thinner coatings there is a considerable gradient in properties through the film thickness. By incorporating a peak load hold the creep behaviour of the metallization can also be assessed and modelling parameters developed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Soare S, Bull SJ, Oila A, O'Neill AG, Wright N, Horsfall A, Dos Santos J

Editor(s): Corcoran S.G., Joo Y.-C., Moody N.R., Suo Z.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings: Thin Films - Stresses and Mechanical Properties X

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 363-368

ISSN: 0272-9172

Publisher: Materials Research Society