Electrostatic actuation is highly efficient at micro and nanoscale. However, large deflection in common electrostatically driven MEMS requires large electrode separation and thus high driving voltages. To offer a solution to this problem we developed a novel electrostatic actuator class, which is based on a force-to-stress transformation in the periodically patterned upper layer of a silicon cantilever beam. We report on advances in the development of such electrostatic bending actuators. Several variants of a CMOS compatible and RoHS-directive compliant fabrication processes to fabricate vertical deflecting beams with a thickness of 30 μm are presented. A concept to extend the actuation space towards lateral deflecting elements is introduced. The fabricated and characterized vertical deflecting cantilever beam variants make use of a 0.2 μm electrode gap and achieve deflections of up to multiples of this value. Simulation results based on an FE-model applied to calculate the voltage dependent curvature for various actuator cell designs are presented. The calculated values show very good agreement with the experimentally determined voltage controlled actuation curvatures. Particular attention was paid to parasitic effects induced by small, sub micrometer, electrode gaps. This includes parasitic currents between the two electrode layers. No experimental hint was found that such effects significantly influence the curvature for a control voltage up to 45 V. The paper provides an outlook for the applicability of the technology based on specifically designed and fabricated actuators which allow for a large variety of motion patterns including out-of-plane and in-plane motion as well as membrane deformation and linear motion.
In this paper the authors report about the six inch wafer level vacuum packaging of electro-statically driven two dimensional micro-mirrors. The packaging was done by means of two types of wafer bonding methods: anodic and glass frit. The resulting chips after dicing are 4 mm wide, 6 mm long and 1.6 mm high and the residual pressure inside the package after dicing was estimated to be between 2 and 20 mbar. This allowed us to reduce the driving voltage of the micro-mirrors by more than 40% compared to the driving voltage without vacuum packaging. The vacuum stability after 5 months was verified by measurement using the so called “membrane method”. Persistence of the vacuum was proven. No getter materials were used for packaging.