Curvature model for an ion-machined free-standing thin film MEMS device

H. T. Johnson, P. Bierden, T. G. Bifano

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The connection between processing effects and curvature of a free-standing poly-Si thin film MEMS structure is analyzed theoretically and compared to experimental data. Estimates are made for the strain resulting from processing and post-processing effects including Phosphorus implantation and chemically neutral ion-beam machining. The inferred strain distribution is used to predict the curvature of the free-standing structure upon release from its host substrate. Curvature predictions agree closely with experimental measurements for particular choices of the processing strain magnitudes. The analysis procedure is proposed as a means to determine the through-thickness stress distribution in a free-standing structure. The ion-beam machining procedure is found to be a useful method for planarizing free-standing thin film structures with undesirable curvature due to process-induced stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)EE5141-EE5146
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventMaterial Science of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Devices III - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 27 2000Nov 28 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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