Influence of air humidity on polymeric microresonators

S Schmid, S Kühne, C Hierold
2009 Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering  
The influence of air humidity on polymeric microresonators is investigated by means of three different resonator types. SU-8 microbeams, SU-8 microstrings and a silicon micromirror with SU-8 hinges are exposed to relative humidities between 3% and 60%. The shifts of the resonant frequencies as a function of the relative humidity (RH) are explained based on mechanical models which are extended with water absorption models in polymer materials. The dominant effect causing the resonant frequency
more » ... esonant frequency change is evaluated for each structure type. The eigenfrequency of the microstrings and the micromirror in the out-of-plane mode, which both mainly are defined by the pre-stress of the polymeric structures, are found to be highly sensitive to changes of air humidity. The humidity-induced (hygrometric) volume expansion reversibly reduces the pre-stress which results in relative frequency changes of up to 0.78%/%RH for the microstrings. A maximum coefficient of humidity-induced volume expansion for SU-8 of α hyg = 52.3 ppm/%RH is evaluated by fitting the data with the analytical model. It was found that microstrings that were stored at 150 • C over 150 h are more moisture sensitive compared to structures that were stored at room temperature. For the SU-8 microbeams and the micromirror in the tilt mode, the eigenfrequency is mainly defined by the modulus of the polymer material. The measured relative resonant frequency changes were below 1% for the given RH range. For low RH values, antiplasticization is observed (the modulus increases) followed by a plasticization for increasing RH values.
doi:10.1088/0960-1317/19/6/065018 fatcat:73sb476h4bbgloe6d4lrsg2nbi