The critical physical dimensions of MEMS devices can vary from well below one micron, on the lower end, to several millimetres. Micromechanical switches in communication circuitry for phase shifting and signal switching and micro-mirrors for redirecting light or for correcting distortions due to air refractions or lens anomalies are typical examples of MEMS devices. MEMS are present in our daily life in many ways such as airbag and navigation sensors in vehicles, disk drive heads, inkjet printer heads, orientation detection in smartphones, or pacemakers and blood pressure sensors.
- SEM is an ideal technique by which we can inspect and localise failures and their root causes in MEMS.
- High resolution and large depth of focus are capabilities that make TESCAN SEMs excellent instruments to observe samples with complex topography such as MEMS.
- The ultra-high-resolution at low accelerating voltages enabled by MAIA3 can assist in the detection of small particles and other contaminants that may lead to device failure.
- The high performance of the MIRA electron column allows for the examination of cracks, fractures or other signs of fatigue or wear in MEMS with moving parts or impact surfaces.
- Many MEMS devices are securely packaged in order to protect their fragile elements.
- GAIA3 and XEIA3, both FIB-SEM platforms which combine an ultra-high resolution electron column with a Ga ion source and Xe plasma ion source FIB columns respectively, can be used in combination with the AutoSlicer module to disassemble MEMS by automatically cutting multiple windows on the lid of such devices, allowing a subsequent high magnification inspection