Technical Paper

Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 705-712

First online:

The effect of atmospheric moisture on crack propagation in the interface between directly bonded silicon wafers

  • V. MasteikaAffiliated withThe Open University Email author 
  • , J. KowalAffiliated withThe Open University
  • , N. St. J. BraitwaiteAffiliated withThe Open University
  • , T. RogersAffiliated withApplied Microengineering Limited

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Infra-red video sequences were taken of directly bonded silicon wafer pairs undergoing the razor blade crack length bond strength measurement in a specially designed jig. A series of tests were carried out under controlled atmospheres of nitrogen at various relative humidities. Analysis of the video images showed that the crack continues to propagate rapidly for several minutes after the blade has stopped moving, and that the presence of moisture has a strong positive influence on the rate of crack propagation under static loading. A new Maszara protocol is suggested based on modelling crack growth using our experimentally derived constants.