The reliability of MEMS, and in particular of RF MEMES switches, might be increased by the use of a Physics of Failure (PoF) methodology. A numerical study, based on the finite element method (FEM), has been carried out to investigate the effects of temperature variations on failure (e.g. yielding of metals) onset within multilayered MEMS structures. Furthermore, the manufacturing processes of MEMS are the main sources of residual stresses development and they represent one of the most profound factors reducing the functionality and reliability of MEMS packages. Therefore, the effect of residual stresses on failure onset has been considered in these studies to examine their effects on MEMS reliability. Numerical results have shown that failure initiation is strongly influenced by the loading conditions (i.e. different range of temperatures), boundary conditions and finally by the presence of residual stresses.

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