An argument for proof testing brittle microsystems in high-reliability applications

B. L. Boyce, R. Ballarini, I. Chasiotis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The vast majority of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for sensor and actuator applications are fabricated from brittle materials, such as Si, SiC and diamond. Numerous prior studies have shown that the structural reliability of these flaw-intolerant materials is governed by processing-induced critical defects, and that their failure strengths have a wide dispersion associated with a low Weibull modulus. This broad distribution of critical failure conditions creates an uncertainty that cannot be tolerated in high-risk or high-consequence applications. This note presents arguments for the adoption of proof testing methodologies which will provide a statistically-sound basis for certifying MEMS component reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117001
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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