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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(5):4972-89. doi: 10.3390/s110504972. Epub 2011 May 4.

Two-scale simulation of drop-induced failure of polysilicon MEMS sensors.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy. stefano.mariani@polimi.it


In this paper, an industrially-oriented two-scale approach is provided to model the drop-induced brittle failure of polysilicon MEMS sensors. The two length-scales here investigated are the package (macroscopic) and the sensor (mesoscopic) ones. Issues related to the polysilicon morphology at the micro-scale are disregarded; an upscaled homogenized constitutive law, able to describe the brittle cracking of silicon, is instead adopted at the meso-scale. The two-scale approach is validated against full three-scale Monte-Carlo simulations, which allow for stochastic effects linked to the microstructural properties of polysilicon. Focusing on inertial MEMS sensors exposed to drops, it is shown that the offered approach matches well the experimentally observed failure mechanisms.


brittle cracking; drops and shocks; finite element analysis; multi-scale simulations; polysilicon MEMS

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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