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Reliability Aspects in RF-MEMS Circuits for Space Applications

Kamaljeet Singh*, AV Nirmal
Page No. 1-11


Reliability requirements for micro system are significantly different from integrated circuits and
depend on specific applications. MEMS sensors with moving parts are prone to environmental
failure compared to integrated circuits. Due to maturing of the MEMS process and technology the
main concern for its usage in space industry stems from the reliability concern. Potential of RFMEMS
is not tapped inspite of having lower loss, lower power consumption, and high linearity
devices at microwave and millimetre wave frequencies due to lack of reliability data and life time
predcition methodology. This article details the various failure mechanism associated with MEMS
devices particularly RF-MEMS viz-a-viz IC devices and also detail the failure mitigation
methodology. The main emphasis of this article is to find out various failure modes associated with
process, material, packaging to eliminate them. Various bottlenecks in MEMS technology is taken
into consideration so as to correlate with failure mechanism associated with the MEMS devices for
improved reliability.

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