Automated testing for chips is a crucial step in the production process as a defect can (and will!) occur during the fabrication. Regular chips (i.e. integrated circuits) can be fully tested using electronic measurement equipment on large scale in just a few seconds. Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) chips are regularly used for sensing applications and consist of complex mechanical structures. In contrast with testing electronic chips, conventional testing of MEMS requires mechanical stimulation and measurements. Many MEMS chips are therefore currently tested by e.g. labor-intensive microscopy and specialized equipment containing moving instruments. In theory however, many MEMS chips can be fully tested by smart electrical stimulations in combination with sophisticated modeling. This would enable fully electrical testing and has a major advantage in test time and costs. In the METEORIET (MEms TEst voOR hoog volume Innovatieve Electronische Toepassingen) project, Salland Engineering, Bronkhorst, University of Twente, Saxion Hogeschool and MASER joined forces to develop versatile electronic MEMS test equipment.
In the IDS group we have the theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the design, fabrication and characterization of MEMS devices. IDS therefore contributes to the METEORIET project in the modelling of micromechanical structures and literature studies in this field. Furthermore, we will deliver taylor-made MEMS calibration chips that can be used for experimentation ansd calibration of the test equipment during the development.
The METEORIET project has a lead time of two years and recieved almost 1 million euro of funding via the European/Dutch EFRO program.