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Chris Mosser
• Introduce MEMS
• Applications
• Automotive Specific Information
• Fabrication
• Packaging
What are MEMS?
• Micro(small)

• Electro(electric components/functionality)

• Mechanical(mechanical components/functionality)

• Systems(integrated, system-like functionality)
Where do you find MEMs?
• Printers
– High DPI inkjets
• Projectors
• Micro-Mirrors from Texas Instruments
• Cell Phones
– Knowles Microphones used in most new cell
• Automobiles
• Small
– Typically .1-100um feature size

Red Blood Cells ~ 10um

Human Hair thickness ~ 50um

• Low cost, High yield
– Use existing IC fabrication technology

– Made primarily on Silicon Wafers
• Favorable scaling for a lot of applications
– Flow-rate sensors
– Electrostatics
– Magnetism
– Many others

• Not all applications

– Solar Power
– Turbulent Boundary Energy Harvesting
Typical Applications
• Accelerometers
• Magnetometers
• Microphones
• Micro-Fluidics
• Bridge to Nanotechnology
Automotive MEMS
• MEMS Sensors and Actuators used to
control various elements of the automobile
– Powertrain and Chassis control
• Ex: Manifold Air Temperature
– Comfort and Convenience
• Ex: Air-Temperature Control
– Communications
• Ex: Wireless
Where it Began
• 1979 - First recorded use of MEMs in automobiles
• Federal emission standards required monitoring the air-to-
fuel ratio of the engine
– Density of air value was needed
• Many different sensor technologies were introduced to
solve this problem
• MAP (manifold absolute pressure) and MAT (manifold air
temperature) sensors were developed using MEMS
• Silicon based MEMS sensors became the device of choice
due to low cost and high yield
MAP Sensor
Who Developed It
• Two groups
– Delco Electronics Group(General Motors)
• Used piezoresistive sensing
– Ford
• Used capacitive sensing
Piezoresistive Sensors
• Use the piezoresistive effect
– Applied stress changes resistivity of material

Source: IMG(UF)

Diaphragm with two embedded piezoresisters

Capacitive Sensors
• Vary two parameters
– Gap
– Overlap area
• Advantages
– Low power
– High accuracy
– Temperature independent
• Important for a lot of automobile applications
– Reciprocal

• Disadvantages
– Parasitic capacitance
– Small signal
What about Actuators?
• Traditionally only sensors were developed
for automobiles
• Actuators started to become popular as
MEMs development costs decreased
• Popular actuators include
– Microphones
– Fuel injection nozzles
• Use basic IC fabrication
– Masks/layers/CVD/oxidation/etc

• MEMS specific fabrication

– DRIE (Deep reactive ion etch)
– SOI (silicon on insulator)
General MEMS Packaging
• The most important and expensive part of a
MEMS sensor/actuator
– ~45% of the cost of designing a MEMS device is spent
on packaging
• Often times packaging constraints will prevent a
design from being produced
– May require too complex of a package design for
realistic implementation
• Package can greatly change the response of a
– Sensitivity/Dynamic Range/etc all effected by package
Automotive MEMS Packaging
• Automotive sensors generally only allowed
to have 3 wires connected to them
– Minimizes cost
• Environment concerns are especially
important in automotive applications
– Engine heat
– High acceleration/deceleration
– Humidity
Automotive MEMS Summary

Precision Engineering
By V. C. Venkatesh, Sudin Izman
Thank You
• Application of MEMS Technology in
Automotive Sensors and Actuators, David
Eddy and Douglas Spanks