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MEMS: Introduction and Orientation

MEMS is the integration of mechanical elements ,sensors, actuators and electronics on a common substrate through utilization of microfabrication technology or Micro-technology

Micromachines Microsystem Technology

: Japan : Europe

MEMS:Introduction and Orientation

To analyze and study the MEMS transducers utilizing principle of sensing and actuation, properties of materials available for fabrication, microfabrication technologies and understanding of circuit and system issues,packaging,calibration and test.


- Introduction and Orientation (1) - Basic Electrical &Mechanical concepts (2) - Transduction Methods (10) Electrostatic/Thermal/Piezoresistive/ Piezoelectric/Magnetic Sensing & actuation - Materials for MEMS (2) - Fabrication Technologies ( 5) - RF MEMS (3) - Optical MEMS ( 4) - Micro-fluidics (2) - Chemical & Bio MEMS (2) - Packaging & testing (2)

MEMS:Introduction and Orientation

1. Foundations of MEMS Chang Liu,Illinois ECE series,Pearson International edition 2. MEMS& Microsystems Design and Manufacturing Tai-Ran Hsu,Tata McGraw-Hill 3. An Introduction to microsystem Engineering N.Maluf,Artech House,2000 4. Micromechanical Source book G.Kovas,McGrawhill 1998 5. Fundamentals of Microfabrication M.Madau,2nd edition,CRC Press,2002 5. RF MEMS Theory,Design & Technology G.M.Rebeiz,John Willey,2003 6. Microsystem Design S.D.Senturia Kluwer Academic Publications 7. Optical MEMS


1947 1954 1955 Invention of Transistor by Schockley,Bardeen and Brattain Piezoresistive effect in semiconductors ( C.S.Smith) Concept of integration by Jack Kilby at TI and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Integrated Circuit technology Moore,s Law 1959 1962 1965 1967 1970 1977 1978 1982 1983 1985 1986 1988 : 1960 -80 Sparce activity on MEMS

There is plenty of room at the bottom ( R.Feynman) Silicon Integrated Piezo Actuators (O.N.Tufte Surface Micromachined FET Accelerometer ( H.C.Nathanson Resonant Gate Transistor (RGT) at Westinghouse Diaphram type silicon micro-machined pressure sensor Silicon Electrostatic Accelerometer ( Stanford) Ink jet Printers by HP Silicon as a Mechanical Material ( K.Peterson) Integrated pressure sensor LIGA ( W.Ehrfeld) Silicon Wafer Bonding ( M.Shimbo) Batch fabricated Pressure Sensor via Wafer bonding (Nova Sensor)


1990 1992 The term MEMS was coined Bulk Micromachining ( SCREAM Process) - Integrated Inertia Sensors (ADXL) by Analog Devices for automotive air bag development Digital light processing chips by TI for projection display Optical Network Switch

1993 1999

MEMS related Technologies

* * * * Optical MEMS ( MOEMS) RF MEMS Microfluidics Bio MEMS

Sensors and Actuators

Transducers are the devices which convert energy from one form to another. So, a transducer can either be a sensor or an actuator or both.

What is Scaling?


A simple example:

The volume scales by a factor of 1000 Surface area scales by only a factor of 100 So, after miniaturization, Surface effects dominate 10 times as against before miniaturization

Example of a dominant surface effect: Consider a miniaturized electrochemical battery. As the charge holding capacity varies linearly with volume, a decrease of 1000 times Consider a miniaturized solar cell, as charging capacity depends on surface area, a decrease of ONLY 100 times!

So, after miniaturization, solar cell is 10 times better in performance if the two were alike before miniaturization.

Scaling effects on a cantilever beam

Dimensions: L, b and h (length, width and thickness, respectively). Density of the material : , The mass of the cantilever is: M = Lbh The elastic constant along the z-direction can be expressed as: Kz = 12YI / L3 where Y is the materials Young modulus and I is the cross-sectional momentum of inertia, which is proportional to bh3.

Taking s as the generic linear dimension, M scales as s3, and Kz scales as s, or linearly with s.
One of the after effects of miniaturization:
If the linear dimensions of this cantilever are scaled by a factor of 10, isomorphically, say s = 0.1s, then the corresponding scaled mass and elastic constant are, respectively: M = 0.001M and Kz = 0.1Kz.

This means that the 10 times linearly scaled cantilever is 1000 times lighter, but only 10 times less stiff than its non-scaled counterpart; therefore, the scaled version has an improved mechanical robustness !!!!!!!

Cantilever contd...
Scaling of resonance frequency
The vibrating cantilever may be used as a mass sensor by measuring its resonance frequency shift with respect to a reference, or unloaded, value 0, due to a change in the mass.


So scales as s-1

M0: unloaded mass m: Mass change M: Total mass


And it can be shown that S varies as s -4 .

For a 10X down scaling of dimensions, sensitivity increases 10000 times !!!

Why MEMS ?
Example : Capacitor (Electrical Parameters)
If the same electric field E = 108 V/m needs to be mainitained between the plates of a micro sized capacitor and a macro sized capacitor, then

Voltage = E x gap Thus, voltage will scale as the gap between the plates. Therefore a much smaller voltage will be required in the micro case to produce the same effect. +V gnd


Scaling of Natural Forces

Force Scaling law

Surface tension
Electrostatic, Pressure Magnetic Gravitational

S2 S3 S4

Where s is a scaling factor, Means if the device dimensions are scaled s times, the effects of surface tension are scaled s times, electrostatic force are scaled s2 times and so on

IC & MEMS design paradigms

Process Process/ Material



System/ Packaging

System/ Packaging

IC Design

MEMS Design

Devices Physical Processes
Material DB


Behavioral model

Figure: MEMS multi-tiered simulation

Intelligent/Smart Microsystem

MEMS Products Examples

Product Category Examples

Pressure sensor
Inertial sensor Microfluidics / Bio MEMS

Manifold pressure (MAP), tire pressure, blood pressure

Accelerometer, gyroscope, crash sensor... Inkjet printer nozzles, micro-bio-analysis systems, DNA chips...

Optical MEMS / MOEMS Micro mirror array for projection (DLP) Micro grating array for projection (GLV) Optical fiber switches, adaptive optics....
RF MEMS Others High Q-inductors, switches, antenna, filter.... Relays, microphone, data storage, toys...

MEMS Products

An electrostatic micromotor An electrostatic comb drive actuator An electrostatic micromirror

MEMS Applications

Cantilever contd...
Strength to Mass Ratio for a scaled cantilever beam
Total strength scales with its cross-sectional area. Hence, total strength scales as S2. Therefore,total strength to mass ratio scales as S-1.

As a result, the micro cantilever is 10 times stronger than the macro model !!!!

Scaling of resonance frequency

The vibrating cantilever may be used as a mass sensor by measuring its resonance frequency shift with respect to a reference, or unloaded, value 0, due to a change in the mass.


, So scales as s-1


M0: unloaded mass m: Mass change M: Total mass

And it can be shown that S varies as s -4 . So, after 10X miniaturization, For a 10X down scaling of dimensions, sensitivity increases 10000 times !!!