Measuring time-dependent mechanics in metallic MEMS

L.I.J.C. Bergers, N.K.R. Delhey, J.P.M. Hoefnagels, M.G.D. Geers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


The reliability of metallic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) depends on time-dependent deformation such as creep. The interaction between microstructural length scales and dimensional length scales, so-called `size-effects', play a prominent role in this. As a first critical step towards studying these size effects in time-dependent deformation, a purely mechanical experimental methodology has been developed, which is discussed here. It is found most suitable for the investigation of creep due to the simplicity of sample handling and preparation and setup design, whilst maximizing long term stability and displacement resolution. The methodology entails the application of a constant deflection to a ÿ¿m-sized free-standing aluminum cantilever beam for a prolonged period of time. After this load is removed, the deformation evolution is immediately recorded by acquiring surface height profiles through confocal optical profilometry. Image correlation and an algorithm based on elastic beam theory are applied to the full-field beam profiles to yield the tip deflection as function of time. From a discussion on the sources of experimental error, it is concluded that the methodology yields the tip deflection as function of time with ~3 nm precision.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Thermal, Mechanical and Multiphysics Simulation and Experiments in Micro-Electronics and Micro-Systems (EuroSimE 2010), 26-28 April 2010, Linz, Austria
EditorsL.J. Ernst, G.Q. Zhang, W.D. Driel, P. Rodgers, C. Bailey, O. De Saint leger
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-7026-6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Measuring time-dependent mechanics in metallic MEMS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this