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Handbook of Silicon Based MEMS Materials and Technologies by Teruaki Motooka, Ari Lehto, Markku Tilli, Veikko Lindroos

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41.7. Effects of Dicing

The typical IC wafer has a passivation layer protecting it from the environment. ICs also are for the most part unaffected by moderate vibration, heating, and electrostatic discharge (ESD). This is not the case for most MEMS. For many MEMS being affected by the environment is their function, and they need to be exposed to the atmosphere [1]. Mechanical components including the cantilevers, gears, hinges, bridges, and membranes of MEMS devices are often extremely fragile and have extremely fine movements. For example, a resonator can have a peak-to-peak displacement of 10 nm. During dicing, contamination, vibration, heating, and ESD can reduce the performance or cause the device to catastrophically fail.

41.7.1. Contamination ...

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