In the last decades, microelectromechanical systems have been increasing their number of degrees of freedom and their structural complexity. Hence, most recently designed MEMSs have required higher mobility than in the past and higher structural strength and stability. In some applications, device thickness increased up to the order of tens (or hundred) of microns, which nowadays can be easily obtained by means of DRIE Bosch process. Unfortunately, scalloping introduces stress concentration regions in some parts of the structure. Stress concentration is a dangerous source of strength loss for the whole structure and for comb-drives actuators which may suffer from side pull-in. This paper presents an analytical approach to characterize stress concentrations in DRIE micro-machined MEMS. The method is based on the linear elasticity equations, the de Saint-Venant Principle, and the boundary value problem for the case of a torsional state of the beam. The results obtained by means of this theoretical method are then compared with those obtained by using two other methods: one based on finite difference discretization of the equations, and one based on finite element analysis (FEA). Finally, the new theoretical approach yields results which are in accordance with the known value of the stress concentration factor for asymptotically null radius notches.
Bertini, S., Verotti, M., Bagolini, A., Bellutti, P., Ruta, G., Belfiore, N.P. (2018). Scalloping and stress concentration in DRIE-manufactured comb-drives. ACTUATORS, 7(3), 57 [10.3390/act7030057].