By Brito, N.; Ferreira, C.; Alves, F.; Cabral, J.; Gaspar, J.; Monteiro, J.; R
The uniqueness of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) devices, with their multiphysics characteristics, presents some limitations to the borrowed test methods from traditional integrated circuits (IC) manufacturing. Although some improvements have been performed, this specific area still lags behind when compared to the design and manufacturing competencies developed over the last decades by the IC industry. A complete digital solution for fast testing and characterization of inertial sensors with built-in actuation mechanisms is presented in this paper, with a fast, full-wafer test as a leading ambition. The full electrical approach and flexibility of modern hardware design technologies allow a fast adaptation for other physical domains with minimum effort. The digital system encloses a processor and the tailored signal acquisition, processing, control, and actuation hardware control modules, capable of the structure position and response analysis when subjected to controlled actuation signals in real time. The hardware performance, together with the simplicity of the sequential programming on a processor, results in a flexible and powerful tool to evaluate the newest and fastest control algorithms. The system enables measurement of resonant frequency (Fr), quality factor (Q), and pull-in voltage (Vpi) within 1.5 s with repeatability better than 5 ppt (parts per thousand). A full-wafer with 420 devices under test (DUTs) has been evaluated detecting the faulty devices and providing important design specification feedback to the designers.