Effects of the manufacturing process on the reliability of the multilayer structure in MetalMUMPs actuators: Residual stresses and variation of design parameters

© 2017 by the authors. Potential problems induced by the multilayered manufacturing process pose a serious threat to the long-term reliability of MEMSCAP® actuators under in-service thermal cycling. Damage would initiate and propagate in different material layers because of a large mismatch of their thermal expansions. In this research, residual stresses and variations of design parameters induced by metal multi-user micro electromechanical system processes (MetalMUMPs) were examined to evaluate their effects on the thermal fatigue lifetime of the multilayer structure and, thus, to improve MEMSCAP® design. Since testing in such micro internal structure is difficult to conduct and traditional testing schemes are destructive, a numerical subdomain method based on a finite element technique was employed. Thermomechanical deformation from metal to insulator layers under in-service temperature cycling (obtained from the multiphysics model of the entire actuator, which was validated by experimental and specified analytical solutions) was accurately estimated to define failures with a significant efficiency and feasibility. Simulation results showed that critical failure modes included interface delamination, plastic deformation, micro cracking, and thermal fatigue, similarly to what was concluded in the MEMSCAP® technical report.