Tradeoffs in the MEMS fabrication and design flows.
MEMS fabrication and design are closely coupled, such that design changes could significantly alter the process flow and vice versa. For instance, setting device parameters such as drive capacitance, deflection distance, or proof mass size directly affects the choice of film thickness, etch rate, sidewall profile and so forth. Typically, this requires multiple iterations of the MEMS design/process development cycle which are costly and time-consuming. A more efficient approach can be implemented using virtual fabrication with a 3D process modeling tool, significantly reducing the development time and the number of learning cycles. In this white paper, a 3-axis MEMS gyroscope is used to demonstrate virtual fabrication using Coventor’s SEMulator3D 2013 software platform. The software is used to evaluate the deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process window, device release and capacitance extraction. The gyroscope modeling illustrates the software platform’s capabilities for predictive design technology modeling, variation analysis and quantitative data extraction.
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