Fatigue Failure Analysis of Comb-Drive Type Mems

Hugo López Montenegro, Leonardo Arnone, Miguel Rabini


Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) constitute nowadays a discipline of fast industrial growth due to its versatility and technical benefits. MEMS are used as sensors and actuators in numerous industrial applications like automotive (air-bags), communications (telephony), biomedical (drug dispensers), electronics (mall pillows of printers), etc. These devices, of sizes ranging from microns to millimeters are generally manufactured with fragile material like silicon in their mono or polycrystalline variants using similar techniques to those used in the production of semiconductor devices. MEMS are subjected to fatigue as a consequence of cyclic mechanical loading in many of their applications. Given the importance of establishing safe service conditions and the difficulty of testing these very diverse microstructures with experiments, it is advisable the use of numerical models to simulate their behavior. In this research, the crack propagation by fatigue of an electrostatic actuator of the Comb-Drive type is studied by using a novel technique characterizing the propagation of a simulated crack.

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