MEMS & Sensors Reliability

Veryst Engineering provides world-leading expertise in MEMS and sensors reliability.  Veryst possesses a cumulative industry experience exceeding 50 years in the fields of yield, reliability, and failure analysis, with more than 25 of those years in the MEMS and sensors world.

MEMS Polysilicon Oscillator Structure

MEMS polysilicon oscillator structure


Veryst Engineering consultants include world-recognized experts in MEMS and sensors reliability with more than 25 years’ industry experience in the reliability of MEMS products in various use environments, including stringent automotive safety, space environments, consumer electronics, and games.  Ms. Allyson Hartzell is a co-author of the book MEMS Reliability of the MEMS Reference Shelf from Springer Science and Business Media.  Prior to her years in the MEMS world, she worked 15 years in semiconductor reliability developing a strong base in yield, failure analysis, and reliability.  Veryst consultants include additional experts in MEMS and sensors simulation, reliability, and testing.

MEMS_Resonator
Natural frequency of 1-micrometer resonator can be altered by molecular layer of water

Veryst’s experience with different MEMS and sensors products includes but is not limited to: accelerometers, tilt sensors, gyroscopes, micro-mirrors, microphones, micro solid oxide fuel cells, switches, display technology, piezoelectric devices, and medical devices.  New MEMS and sensors technologies are being developed daily, and reliability is key to acceptance in the marketplace.  Proper methodologies for testing and evaluation are essential to predicting MEMS and sensors product lifetimes, playing a role in all stages of commercialization from the engineering design phase all the way to product release.

Areas of MEMS consulting include:

  • Lifetime prediction, long term reliability testing, and acceleration factors
  • Reliability test planning
  • Failure analysis to determine physics of failure in yield and reliability
  • Micro-contamination (both molecular and particulate)
  • Manufacturing environment (cleanroom expertise and audits)
  • Package and solder reliability
  • Simulation of MEMS and sensors devices and operation:
    • Stiction, creep, fatigue, lubrication, thermal stresses
    • Design optimization for manufacturing and reliability
    • Microfluidics

 

 

MEMS creep

Creep rates that are normally ignored can result in relaxed stresses in pre-tension membranes and in buckled structures that fail to perform


Veryst provides experience with advanced analytical techniques including:

  • SEM (scanning electron microscopy)
  • EDS (energy-dispersive X-ray analysis)
  • WDS (wavelength dispersive X-ray analysis)
  • TEM (transmission electron microscopy)
  • AFM (atomic force microscopy)
  • Auger analysis, XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy)
  • FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy)
  • Ion chromatography
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Digital holographic microscopy
  • Scanning vibrometry and interferometry

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Delamination in Microfluidic Valves

A commonly encountered failure mode in microfluidic devices is delamination between adjacent device layers. Veryst examined the influence of control channel geometry on the delamination pressure of a pneumatic microfluidic valve using finite element analysis.

Small Sample Size Lifetime Prediction

How long will a product last? This is an essential question during product development, but accurately predicting product end of life can be hampered by limited data. Veryst provides a method for the reliability engineer to predict end of life with a small sample size and shows how the proper lifetime prediction method can eliminate unexpected field failures.

Multiphysics Analysis of a MEMS Switch

The responses of a MEMS switch immersed in fluids differs from that in a vacuum. Veryst Engineering developed a coupled electrostatic-fluid-structure interaction model to investigate the switch response time, deformation, and energy dissipation.

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