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
• Goals:
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
• References:
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 : ρ, The mass of the cantilever is: M = Lbhρ The elastic constant along the z-direction can be expressed as: Kz = 12YI / L3 where Y is the material’s 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 K’z = 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 ω0, due to a change in the mass.


So ω 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 ω0, due to a change in the mass.


, So ω 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 !!!

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