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Hermeticity Testing as Tool for Reliability and Failure Analysis of MEMS

Suzanne Millar, Marc Desmulliez
The aim of this project is to develop novel hermeticity test methods for MEMS. This project is in collaboration with MCS Ltd through the engineering doctorate scheme funded by the EPSRC.

The aim of this project is to develop novel hermeticity test methods for MEMS. This project is in collaboration with MCS Ltd through the engineering doctorate scheme funded by the EPSRC Hermeticity is vital to the long term reliable function of many MEMS devices. Current test methods to determine the leak rate of packages have proven not to be sensitive enough when analysing such small packages. The most commonly used tests are the helium fine leak and gross bubble leak test described fully in MIL-STD-883, a link to this is provided below. The minimum leak rate detectable by these methods is 4 orders of magnitude greater than the minimum required for a typical MEMS device. The current leak testing methods are also unsuitable for use with organic packaging materials. Methods including FTIR leak detecting and in situ testing are being considered. Because of the diversity of MEMS devices and package types it may prove beneficial to develop a portfolio of test methods.