The design, fabrication, and testing of corrugated silicon nitride diaphragms

Patrick R. Scheeper, Wouter Olthuis, Piet Bergveld

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    Silicon nitride corrugated diaphragms of 2 mm×2 mm×1 μm have been fabricated with 8 circular corrugations, having depths of 4, 10, or 14 ¿m. The diaphragms with 4-μm-deep corrugations show a measured mechanical sensitivity (increase in the deflection over the increase in the applied pressure) which is 25 times larger than the mechanical sensitivity of flat diaphragms of equal size and thickness. Since this gain in sensitivity is due to reduction of the initial stress, the sensitivity can only increase in the case of diaphragms with initial stress. A simple analytical model has been proposed that takes the influence of initial tensile stress into account. The model predicts that the presence of corrugations increases the sensitivity of the diaphragms, because the initial diaphragm stress is reduced. The model also predicts that for corrugations with a larger depth the sensitivity decreases, because the bending stiffness of the corrugations then becomes dominant. These predictions have been confirmed by experiments. The application of corrugated diaphragms offers the possibility to control the sensitivity of thin diaphragms by geometrical parameters, thus eliminating the effect of variations in the initial stress, due to variations in the diaphragm deposition process and/or the influence of temperature changes and packaging stress
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36-42
    JournalJournal of microelectromechanical systems
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1994


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