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Measurement of Young's modulus and residual stress of thin SiC layers for MEMS high temperature applications

: Pabst, O.; Schiffer, M.; Obermeier, E.; Tekin, T.; Lang, K.-D.; Ngo, H.-D.


Schmid, U. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Smart sensors, actuators, and MEMS V : 18-20 April 2011, Prague, Czech Republic
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2011 (Proceedings of SPIE 8066)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-8655-4
Paper 806608
Conference "Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS" <5, 2011, Prague>
Fraunhofer IZM ()
Fraunhofer IOF ()
silicon carbide; bulge test; Young's modulus; residual stress; high temperature MEMS; harsh environment; 3C-SiC; beta-SiC

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a promising material for applications in harsh environments. Standard silicon (Si) microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are limited in operating temperature to temperatures below 130 °C for electronic devices and below 600 °C for mechanical devices. Due to its large bandgap SiC enables MEMS with significantly higher operating temperatures. Furthermore, SiC exhibits high chemical stability and thermal conductivity. Young's modulus and residual stress are important mechanical properties for the design of sophisticated SiC-based MEMS devices. In particular, residual stresses are strongly dependent on the deposition conditions. Literature values for Young's modulus range from 100 to 400 GPa, and residual stresses range from 98 to 486 MPa. In this paper we present our work on investigating Young's modulus and residual stress of SiC films deposited on single crystal bulk silicon using bulge testing. This method is based on measurement of pressure-dependent membrane deflection. Polycrystalline as well as single crystal cubic silicon carbide samples are studied. For the samples tested, average Young's modulus and residual stress measured are 417 GPa and 89 MPa for polycrystalline samples. For single crystal samples, the according values are 388 GPa and 217 MPa. These results compare well with literature values.