SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2001

Fatigue and Fracture in Membranes for MEMS Power Generation


Bulk micromachined membranes containing PZT thin films deposited via sol-gel processing have been tested for fatigue and fracture using a dynamic bulge testing apparatus. These membranes, consisting of silicon, titanium, platinum, PZT, and gold, were pressurized monotonically until failure to determine an average failure pressure and then cyclically pressurized to examine fatigue behavior. Membranes containing PZT show significant degradation of strength as compared to membranes of just silicon or the metallic layers. This is discussed in terms of the residual stresses and defects present in the PZT thin film due to thermal processing. Fractography of the failed membranes shows that delamination does occur at the metal-silicon interface during both types of loading, suggesting both through- thickness and interfacial cracking are possible failure mechanisms in this system.

Author Information

Bahr, DF
Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Crozier, BT
Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Richards, CD
Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Richards, RF
Washington State University, Pullman, WA
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Developed by Committee: E08
Pages: 28–36
DOI: 10.1520/STP10978S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5458-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2889-7