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Generation of Electrically Induced Stimuli for MEMS self-test

Auteur(s) : B. Charlot, F. Parrain, S. Mir, B. Courtois

ISRN: TIMA--RR-02/02/1--FR

A major task for the implementation of Built-In-Self-Test (BIST) strategies for MEMS is the generation of the test stimuli. These devices can work in different energy domains and are thus designed to sense signals which are generally not electrical. In this work, we describe, for different types of MEMS, how the required non-electrical test stimuli can be induced on-chip by means of electrical signals. This provides the basis for adding BIST strategies for MEMS parts embedded in the coming generation of integrated systems. The on-chip test signal generation is illustrated for the case of MEMS transducers which exploit such physical principles as time-varying electrostatic capacitance, piezo-resistivity effect and Seebeck effect. These principles are used in devices such as accelerometers, infrared imagers, pressure sensors or tactile sensors. For implementation, we have used two major MEMS technologies including CMOS-compatible bulk micromachining and surface micromachining. We illustrate the ability to generate on-chip test stimuli and to implement a self-test strategy for the case of a complete application. This corresponds to an infrared imager that can be used in multiple applications such as overheating detection, night vision, and earth tracking for satellite positioning. The imager consists of an array of thermal pixels that sense an infrared radiation. Each pixel is implemented as a suspended membrane that contains several thermopiles along the different support arms. The on-chip test signal generation proposed requires only slight modifications and allows a production test of the imager with a standard test equipment, without the need of special infrared sources and the associated optical equipment. The test function can also be activated off-line in the field for validation and maintenance purposes