CANEUS Moments

(R1) - Failure Mechanism
(R2) - Reliability

R3) - Reliability
R4) - Reliability

Reliability (R1) - Failure Mechanism

Session chair: Oudea Coumar, EADS-LV, France


Sammy Kayali, NASA JPL, USA
Reliability and Qualification of Advanced Microelectronics for Space Applications

New spacecraft designs require highly advanced state-of-the-art microelectronic devices and structures developed and fabricated at research and development laboratories for a specific application and in small quantities. It is critical that a cost effective and efficient reliability and qualification approach is used to determine the suitability of the technology in question to the intended application. However, the nature of the developments at research and development laboratories and the limited production volume makes this a difficult issue to address. This paper provides a discussion of the subject and an approach to establish a reliability and qualification methodology to facilitate the utilization of state-of-the-art advanced microelectronic devices and structures in high reliability applications.

Srinivas Tadigadapa, Pensylvania State University, USA
MEMS Package Reliability for Space Applications

Traditionally, MEMS-components have been made by separating the MEMS chip design and fabrication processes from the packaging and reliability issues. This "evolutionary" partitioning of microsystems has led to long incubation times for the commercial success of MEMS based products. Reliability depends on the mutual compatibility of (i) the various parts of the microsystem with respect to the desired functionality, and (ii) choice of designs and materials from the standpoint of long-term repeatability and performance accuracy. Reliability testing also provides techniques for compensation, and an understanding of the catastrophic failure mechanisms in microsystems. It is imperative that the successful design and realization of a microsystems or MEMS product must include all levels of packaging and reliability issues from the onset of the project. This presentation will discuss, MEMS packaging and reliability issues with examples for space applications.

Reliability (R2)

Session chair: Laurent Marchand, ESA, France


Oudea Coumar, EADS-LV, France
Space Radiation Sources and Effects on MEMS Technologies and Devices

The space radiation environment is becoming a greater concern to space missions. The increasing sensitivity to these environments is the result of a number of uses of new technologies in spacecraft development. The radiation environment is very diverse including energetic electrons and protons in the radiation belts, solar energetic particle events, galactic cosmic rays, and secondary radiations generated by these primary sources interacting with components, equipments, systems and materials in the spacecraft.

MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) is an emerging technology with a wide range of applications: automotive, biomedical and scientific. It is a technology that combines microelectronics and micro mechanical devices on a single substrate or on a hybrid. The growth of MEMS has attracted space industry interests in the areas of micro sensors and micro actuators. For next generation of spacecraft (small or big) will need highly scaled, low power, light weight systems that are capable of very high performance. Achieving these goals for future missions will require MEMS

On board electronics of the spacecraft are becoming more sophisticated, with more on-board processing being done, they carry ever-improving sensors and other technological innovations, like MEMS. Increasingly performant technologies inevitably become more radiation-sensitive and sensitive to effects of electrostatic discharge. For the MEMS, there is a clear move towards the use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) in space, which are not specially hardened.

Radiation testing of MEMS devices has proved to be a very "mixed-bag". One MEMS device [Buchner-96] has shown a marked sensitivity to TID (Total Induced Dose) wherein accumulated charge in an insulating region of the device caused the mechanical section (a capacitance bridge) to malfunction. The focus of the analyses was to determine if a MEMS device has a radiation response that is unique relative to a purely microelectronic device. Many of these devices include moving mechanical parts fabricated in the Si substrate that are subject to bias effects, such as capacitance controlled cantilever beams, and these structures also contain oxides and other insulators that can accumulate radiation-induced charge. The effects of these on MEMS space use are summarized with some recent examples.

Reliability (R3)

Session chair: Francis Pressecq, ESA, France


Rajeshuni Ramesham, NASA JPL, USA
MEMS Reliability: Review of the Present and Vision for the Future

This paper discusses the fabrication aspects of a sensor device that is based on a sputter deposited multilayer giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensor. The device consists of a micromachined microstructure (membrane), a GMR sensor, and a hard magnetic film sputtered onto the membrane. The GMR sensor detects the membrane acceleration by sensing the changes in magnetic field caused by the displacement of the hard magnetic film on the microstructure. Very thin (0.5 µm) silicon nitride membranes are fabricated by means of anisotropic bulk micromachining of silicon wafer. A reliable GMR-MEMS device must have characteristics such as a high percentage change in resistance, a high field resistance, a low resistance noise, and a large bandwidth. These characteristics strongly depend on the thickness of the various layers in sensor device multilayers, the composition and microstructure of the individual layers. Deposition and patterning of hard magnetic film over the microstructure and the bonding of this microstructure over the GMR element are also discussed. The fabrication and reliability issues associated with GMR-MEMS devices have been discussed.

KeyWords: GMR, MEMS, spin valves, micromachining, and hard magnetic layers.

Muriel Dardalhon, CNES/EADS-LV / LIRMM, France
Reliability Analysis of CMOS MEMS Structures Obtained by Front Side Bulk Micromachining

the propose of this presentation is:

  • Quantification of the reliability under various environmental conditions and stresses
    - characterization protocol
    - reliability test plan
  • Determination of the possible weaknesses of FSBM devices
  • Reliability and failure mechanisms understanding
  • Long-term goal : prediction of the ultimate failure any design in this technology

Sebastien Rigo, CNES, France
Determination, with a Nanoindentor, of the Stiffness of the Structures Used in the Microswitch

Reliability (R4)

Session chair:Rajeshuni Ramesham, NASA JPL, USA


Francis Pressecq, CNES, France
Quality and Reliability Issues for MEMS and Microtechnology Use in Space System
Microsystems today are still in the growing phase : from the concept of the smart sensor developed in the early 80's to the feasibility of very small integrated systems reached in the 90's, research and development activities are in a constant progression. After an euphoric phase started in 1995, MEMS are starting to be present in all commercial sectors : automotive, computer systems, telecommunication, biomedical… and space. However, in terms of market penetration the situation is not so clear : there are few MEMS in commercial off the shell products, many prototypes in laboratories and huge investments !

This situation is a new one for the space industry. In fact, space products need to be well stabilized especially concerning technologies for innovative systems. But for Microsystems, agencies and main contractors seen to have decided to take the way of innovation : the microsmall world must be megabeautiful !

  • From a reliability point of view this situation is also a new one. In the past, the working scheme for an engineer in thequality domain (reliability, failure analysis, technological analysis…) was : Well known and qualified products (SCC standard for example). In this case, quality assurance activities consist of performing evaluation, qualification and maintenance of qualification,
  • COTS : electronic components mass produced for commercial applications. Technological activities for
    COTS are more focussed on markets and technology surveys,
  • Dedicated products or components only produced for space activities (optical detectors for example). There is
    a strong link between agencies and foundries that help quality assurance activitie

MEMS quality assurance cannot be included in one of these schemes mainly because mass production only deals with products generally not useful for space systems (e.g. inkjet parts, hard disk heads …) and mass volume foundries are not "open" to small customers. The failure and technology analysis lab of the CNES has proposed a new approach based on a tight relationship between

Daryl Sargent, Draper Lab, USA

Micromachined silicon inertial sensors offer revolutionary improvements in cost, size, and reliability for Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C). Batch manufacturing techniques produce thousands of virtually identical microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices, each a few square millimeters in size. Development of inertial MEMS is driven by the high-volume, commercial market that targets modest performance applications at prices below $10 per axis. Draper Laboratory has recently demonstrated higher performance, multi-axis systems using commercial processes for lower-volume tactical applications ranging from guided munitions to micro-satellites. More accurate sensors enabled by Deep Reactive Ion Etch technology and new digital electronics are rapidly approaching a bias stabilities of 1 deg/h and 100 µg over -40C to +85C. Future architectures under development reflect a radical departure from early demonstration systems. The Draper Laboratory has successfully imbedded these technologies in a wide variety of tactical, strategic, and space applications, and have addressed the critical issues of producibility, reliability, and tolerance to extreme environments necessary for these applications

Astrium, Germany
MST space qualification approaches

Last update - May 28, 2003