Characterization on Contacting Surfaces of MEMS Electrostatic Switches by SEM, EDXA, and XPS

Characterization on Contacting Surfaces of MEMS Electrostatic Switches by SEM, EDXA, and XPS

06.03.2015

We focus on the origin and sources of surface contamination and defects causing the failure of MEMS electrostatic switches. The morphology, and elemental and chemical compositions of the contacting surfaces, conducting paths, and other parts of switches have been characterized by means of SEM, EDXA, and XPS in order to understand the difference between the data collected for the devices that had passed the electrical conductivity test and those found to be defective. C, O, Al, Ca, Ti, Cu, and some other impurities were detected on the details of defective switches. Contrariwise, the working switches were found to be clean, at least on the level of EDXA and XPS sensitivity. The main sources of surface contamination and defects were incompletely deleted sacrificial layers, substrate materials, and electrolytes employed for Rh plating of the contacts. The negative influence of foreign microparticles, especially alumina and copper oxides, on the conductivity and porosity of contacts was highlighted.


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