An innovative micro-test structure for detecting the thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) of metal materials is presented in this work. Throughout this method, a whole temperature sensing moveable structures are supported by four groups of cascaded chevrons beams and packed together. Thermal expansion of the metal material causes the deflection of the cascaded chevrons, which leads to the capacitance variation. By detecting the capacitance value at different temperatures, the TEC value of the metal materials can be calculated. A finite element model has been established to verify the relationship between the TEC of the material and the displacement of the structure on horizontal and vertical directions, thus a function of temperature for different values of TEC can be deduced. In order to verify the analytical model, a suspended-capacitive micro-test structure has been fabricated by MetalMUMPs process and tested in a climate chamber. Test results show that in the temperature range from 30 °C to 80 °C, the TEC of the test material is 13.4 × 10−6
with a maximum relative error of 0.8% compared with the given curve of relationship between displacement and temperature.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited