Sacrificial grid release technology: A versatile release concept for MEMS structures

Y. Zhao, Y.L. Janssens, H.W. Veltkamp, M.J. de Boer, J. Groenesteijn, N.R. Tas, R.J. Wiegerink*, J.C. Lötters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)


Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) structures with different in-plane dimensions often need to be released simultaneously from the bulk of the wafer and a single dry etching or wet etching technique cannot fulfill all release requirements. In this paper we present a universally applicable solution to release MEMS structures with different surface areas in a controlled and uniform way, which combines isotropic etching of a sacrificial silicon support structure by xenon difluoride with a predefined etch surface made by deep reactive ion etching. Two applications of this Sacrificial Grid Release Technology are presented, in which MEMS devices are released in silicon-on-insulator wafers. The demonstrated applications involve the release of microstructures with in-plane dimensions ranging from tens of micrometers to a few millimeters. The sacrificial silicon structure provides mechanical support which allows freedom in process flow design for fragile MEMS structures. The release technique can also be used to separate the chips from the wafer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045013
JournalJournal of micromechanics and microengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Free-hanging mems structures
  • Release etch
  • Sacrificial grid release technology
  • Sacrificial grid structures
  • UT-Hybrid-D


Dive into the research topics of 'Sacrificial grid release technology: A versatile release concept for MEMS structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this