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Title: Challenges in the Packaging of MEMS

Abstract

The packaging of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is a field of great importance to anyone using or manufacturing sensors, consumer products, or military applications. Currently much work has been done in the design and fabrication of MEMS devices but insufficient research and few publications have been completed on the packaging of these devices. This is despite the fact that packaging is a very large percentage of the total cost of MEMS devices. The main difference between IC packaging and MEMS packaging is that MEMS packaging is almost always application specific and greatly affected by its environment and packaging techniques such as die handling, die attach processes, and lid sealing. Many of these aspects are directly related to the materials used in the packaging processes. MEMS devices that are functional in wafer form can be rendered inoperable after packaging. MEMS dies must be handled only from the chip sides so features on the top surface are not damaged. This eliminates most current die pick-and-place fixtures. Die attach materials are key to MEMS packaging. Using hard die attach solders can create high stresses in the MEMS devices, which can affect their operation greatly. Low-stress epoxies can be high-outgassing, which can also affect devicemore » performance. Also, a low modulus die attach can allow the die to move during ultrasonic wirebonding resulting to low wirebond strength. Another source of residual stress is the lid sealing process. Most MEMS based sensors and devices require a hermetically sealed package. This can be done by parallel seam welding the package lid, but at the cost of further induced stress on the die. Another issue of MEMS packaging is the media compatibility of the packaged device. MEMS unlike ICS often interface with their environment, which could be high pressure or corrosive. The main conclusion we can draw about MEMS packaging is that the package affects the performance and reliability of the MEMS devices. There is a gross lack of understanding between the package materials, induced stress, and the device performance. The material properties of these packaging materials are not well defined or understood. Modeling of these materials and processes is far from maturity. Current post-package yields are too low for commercial feasibility, and consumer operating environment reliability and compatibility are often difficult to simulate. With further understanding of the materials properties and behavior of the packaging materials, MEMS applications can be fully realized and integrated into countless commercial and military applications.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
5705
Report Number(s):
SAND99-0901J
TRN: AH200115%%102
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
The International Journal of Microcircuits and Electronic Packaging
Additional Journal Information:
Other Information: Submitted to The International Journal of Microcircuits and Electronic Packaging; PBD: 26 Mar 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; MICROELECTRONIC CIRCUITS; MINIATURIZATION; COMPATIBILITY; PACKAGING; PERFORMANCE; MATERIALS HANDLING

Citation Formats

Malshe, A P, Singh, S B, Eaton, W P, O'Neal, C, Brown, W D, and Miller, W M. Challenges in the Packaging of MEMS. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Malshe, A P, Singh, S B, Eaton, W P, O'Neal, C, Brown, W D, & Miller, W M. Challenges in the Packaging of MEMS. United States.
Malshe, A P, Singh, S B, Eaton, W P, O'Neal, C, Brown, W D, and Miller, W M. 1999. "Challenges in the Packaging of MEMS". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5705.
@article{osti_5705,
title = {Challenges in the Packaging of MEMS},
author = {Malshe, A P and Singh, S B and Eaton, W P and O'Neal, C and Brown, W D and Miller, W M},
abstractNote = {The packaging of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is a field of great importance to anyone using or manufacturing sensors, consumer products, or military applications. Currently much work has been done in the design and fabrication of MEMS devices but insufficient research and few publications have been completed on the packaging of these devices. This is despite the fact that packaging is a very large percentage of the total cost of MEMS devices. The main difference between IC packaging and MEMS packaging is that MEMS packaging is almost always application specific and greatly affected by its environment and packaging techniques such as die handling, die attach processes, and lid sealing. Many of these aspects are directly related to the materials used in the packaging processes. MEMS devices that are functional in wafer form can be rendered inoperable after packaging. MEMS dies must be handled only from the chip sides so features on the top surface are not damaged. This eliminates most current die pick-and-place fixtures. Die attach materials are key to MEMS packaging. Using hard die attach solders can create high stresses in the MEMS devices, which can affect their operation greatly. Low-stress epoxies can be high-outgassing, which can also affect device performance. Also, a low modulus die attach can allow the die to move during ultrasonic wirebonding resulting to low wirebond strength. Another source of residual stress is the lid sealing process. Most MEMS based sensors and devices require a hermetically sealed package. This can be done by parallel seam welding the package lid, but at the cost of further induced stress on the die. Another issue of MEMS packaging is the media compatibility of the packaged device. MEMS unlike ICS often interface with their environment, which could be high pressure or corrosive. The main conclusion we can draw about MEMS packaging is that the package affects the performance and reliability of the MEMS devices. There is a gross lack of understanding between the package materials, induced stress, and the device performance. The material properties of these packaging materials are not well defined or understood. Modeling of these materials and processes is far from maturity. Current post-package yields are too low for commercial feasibility, and consumer operating environment reliability and compatibility are often difficult to simulate. With further understanding of the materials properties and behavior of the packaging materials, MEMS applications can be fully realized and integrated into countless commercial and military applications.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5705}, journal = {The International Journal of Microcircuits and Electronic Packaging},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {3}
}