21 May 2015 Wafer bonding technology for new generation vacuum MEMS: challenges and promises
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Abstract
Various MEMS devices are incorporated into consumer electronic devices. A particular category of MEMS require vacuum packaging by wafer bonding with the need to encapsulate vacuum levels of 10-2 mbar or higher with long time stability. The vacuum requirement is limiting the choice of the wafer bonding process and raises significant challenges to the existing investigation methods (metrology) used for results qualification. From the broad range of wafer bonding processes only few are compatible with vacuum applications: fusion bonding, anodic bonding, glass frit bonding and metal-based bonding. The outgassing from the enclosed surfaces after bonding will affect the vacuum level in the cavity: in some cases, a getter material is used inside the device cavity to compensate for this outgassing. Additionally the selected bonding process must be compatible with the devices on the wafers being bonded. This work reviews the principles of vacuum encapsulation using wafer bonding. Examples showing the suitability of each process for specific applications types will be presented. A significant challenge in vacuum MEMS fabrication is the lack of analytical methods needed for process characterization or reliability testing. A short overview of the most used methods and their limitations will be presented. Specific needs to be addressed will be introduced with examples.
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V. Dragoi, V. Dragoi, E. Pabo, E. Pabo, "Wafer bonding technology for new generation vacuum MEMS: challenges and promises", Proc. SPIE 9517, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VII; and Cyber Physical Systems, 951708 (21 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178920; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178920
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