In-Use Failures

  • Allyson L. Hartzell
  • Mark G. da Silva
  • Herbert R. Shea
Part of the MEMS Reference Shelf book series (MEMSRS)


This chapter addresses in-use failures of MEMS, with an emphasis on the physics of failure. Chapter 3 dealt with eliminating failures from a design and manufacturing perspective. In this chapter we focus on how a well-designed, fabricated and packaged device can fail in use. There is a tight link between the design, manufacturing and in-use failures. Understanding the physics of failure (e.g., creep, fatigue) and the properties of materials used and the link to the process flow (e.g., yield strength of poly-silicon following HF release) lead to improved design rules to ensure the device will operate reliably in the expected operating environment. A concurrent design of the package is often required, but is not addressed in this chapter.


Breakdown Voltage Proof Mass Trap Charge Galvanic Corrosion Actuation Voltage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allyson L. Hartzell
    • 1
  • Mark G. da Silva
    • 2
  • Herbert R. Shea
    • 3
  1. 1.Lilliputian Systems, Inc.WilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.RSTC, MS-112Analog Devices Inc.WilmingtonUSA
  3. 3.Microsystems for Space Technologies LaboratoryEPFLNeuchatelSwitzerland

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