MEMS Packaging and Reliability

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Airbag sensors. Digital Light Processing™ projectors. Inkjet printers.

These examples are only a few of the applications for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), which have quickly become one of the fastest-growing segments in the semiconductor industry. MEMS devices, also referred to as Microsystems Technology (MSTs) or Micromachines, promise to produce smaller, cheaper, more reliable systems— yet can the technology deliver on these promises?

Semitracks’ latest one-day MEMS Packaging and Reliability course focuses on the packaging and reliability of MEMS devices. The large surface area to volume ratio in MEMS devices creates unique challenges— for example, surface effects such as electrostatics and liquid wetting dominate volume effects such as inertia or thermal mass. Yet in spite of these poorly understood properties, MEMS retain the potential to revolutionize the electronics market.

What Will I Learn By Taking This Class?

The goal of the course is to give you a one-day overview of MEMS technologies by covering packaging, reliability, simulation, and testing. You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of challenges and opportunities associated with bringing MEMS and MST’s to market through the course's focus on two key topics:

  1. MEMS Packaging. You'll learn packaging concepts for MEMS devices while reviewing assembly and packaging procedures such as structural release, cleaning, encapsulation,and testing. The seminar will also cover various challenges associated with packaging and testing MEMS.
  2. MEMS Reliability. The course will review MEMS reliability issues and associated analysis/simulation techniques. MEMS reliability requires a broad understanding of physics and mechanics in order to handle the challenges during research, development, and productization.

The class focuses on practical application to the situations that you face daily, whether you are a manager, engineer, or technician working in the development, design, simulation, manufacturing, or testing of MEMS products. You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities associated with bringing MEMS and MSTs to market.

Course Objectives

  1. Participants will acquire an in-depth understanding of MEMS technologies and the packaging, reliability, simulation, and test issues associated with them.
  2. Participants will be able to determine the reliability testing techniques that provide the greatest probability of success through understanding key failure mechanisms.
  3. The seminar will identify the advantages and disadvantages of semiconductor and MEMS processing techniques commonly used to develop MEMS devices.
  4. Participants will be able to identify a variety of failure mechanisms and how they manifest themselves in MEMS devices.

Instructional Strategy

Our courses are dynamic. We use a combination of instruction by lecture, problem solving, and question/answer sessions to give you the tools you need to excel. From the very first moments of the seminar until the last sentence of the training, the driving instructional factor is application. The course notes offer hundreds of pages of reference material that the participants can apply during their daily activities.

Our instructors are internationally recognized experts. Our instructors have years of current and relevant experience in their fields. They're focused on answering your questions and teaching you what you need to know.

Instructor Profile

Steve Groothuis, M.S. Physics


Steve Groothuis received a Bachelor’s in Physics (1983) from Michigan State University and Masters in Physics (1991) from the University of Texas. He began work in the Central Packaging Group, Texas Instruments in Dallas in 1983 as a Group Member of the Technical Staff performing semiconductor package development, design, testing, and simulation. Prior to leaving TI, he managed the engineering staff in TI's Advanced Semiconductor Packaging Lab. In 1997, he was a Multiphysics Industry Specialist for ANSYS Inc. defining Computer-Aided Engineering simulation software market plans, strategic accounts management, Electronics Packaging, MEMS Device Simulation initiatives, and product development for the Electronics Industry. From 2000-2008, he was with Micron Technology in positions from Senior Package Engineer in the Assembly and Packaging Department to Technology CAD, and Analysis Manager in the Process RD Department at Micron Technology. His responsibilities included device and process simulations for new cell designs, supporting most aspects of semiconductor package simulations, and new technology assessments.

Currently, Mr. Groothuis is a Principal Consulting Engineer with SimuTech Group Inc. He is actively involved in developing and winning new business opportunities for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) consulting projects. His efforts are focused on vertical markets such as Microelectronics, Semiconductor Packaging, Wafer Fabrication, NEMS/MEMS, Nanotechnology, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, and Consumer Electronics.

He has published over 30 papers at various conferences in semiconductor packaging, reliability, and numerical analysis. Mr. Groothuis is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has participated in ASME and JEDEC standards committees.

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