On the use of acoustic methods for the detection of electrostatic capture of diaphragm in capacitive MEMS microphones

Gergely Hantos, Gergely Simon, Marc P. Y. Desmulliez

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Most mobile phones today have capacitive micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) microphones that use either single or dual diaphragm. Methods to detect failures easily and non-invasively have become of critical importance for microphones mobile phone manufacturers as a basis for built-in self-test (BIST) and self-repair (BISR) strategies. In that regard, a four-layer framework is presented that includes lumped element modelling (LEM), failure mode simulation, failure mode discrimination and recovery. The frequency response of the microphone is taken as the main output to analyse. To experimentally validate this framework, this article provides a failure mode induction method based on bias voltage sweeping and four new techniques, based solely on acoustic measurements to discriminate the states of electrostatic capture for single diaphragm capacitive MEMS microphones. These include a) analysis of an acoustic signature that is unique to electrostatic capture based on cosine similarity analysis, b) -3 dB point measurement, C) +3 dB point measurement, and d) cluster analysis. Measurement of pull-in voltage and snapback voltage ranges is further demonstrated based on sensitivity measurements in laboratory conditions and response magnitude and noise power measurements in non-laboratory conditions. Up to 100% success rate in detecting electrostatic capture of diaphragm is reported for this type of device.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2021


  • Acoustic MEMS
  • Acoustics
  • BISR
  • BIST
  • built-in self-repair
  • built-in self-test
  • capacitive microphone
  • Electrostatic measurements
  • Electrostatics
  • failure induction
  • Micromechanical devices
  • microphone
  • Microphones
  • Stress
  • Voltage measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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