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Shivanky Jaiswal
What are MEMS?
 Reduced power consumption
 Improved performance (application specific)
 Reduced weight
 Lower cost than their bulk device counterparts.
 Batch fabrication reduces manufacturing and assembly costs
 Reduced size and weight typically result in less power consumption and
increased system design flexibility.
 Reducing the size and weight of a device allows multiple MEMS
components can be used in serial or parallel to increase functionality,
device capability, and reliability.

 Micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) are micrometer-scale devices

that integrate electrical and mechanical elements.
 They have been used in diverse applications, from display technologies
to sensor systems to optical networks. MEMS are attractive for many
applications because of their small size and weight, which allow
systems to be miniaturized.
 MEMS has been identified as one of the most promising technologies for
the 21st Century and has the potential to revolutionize both industrial
and consumer products by combining silicon-based microelectronics
with micromachining technology. Its techniques and microsystem-based
devices have the potential to dramatically affect the all of our lives and
the way we live.
 MEMS devices are very small; their components are usually
 Levers, gears, pistons, as well as motors and even steam engines
have all been fabricated by MEMS.
 However, MEMS is not just about the miniaturization of mechanical
components or making things out of silicon (in fact, the term MEMS
is actually misleading as many micromachined devices are not
mechanical in any sense).
 In fact, MEMS is a manufacturing technology; a paradigm for
designing and creating complex mechanical devices and systems
as well as their integrated electronics using batch fabrication

 MicroElectronics
 MicroSensors
 MicroActuators
 MicroStructures

 The microelectronics of a MEMS are very similar to chips as

we think of them today. The microelectronics act as the
"brain" of the system.
 It receives data, processes it, and makes decisions. The data
received comes from the microsensors in the MEMS.

 The microsensors act as the arms, eyes, nose, etc. They

constantly gather data from the surrounding
environment and pass this information on to the
microelectronics for processing.
 These sensors can monitor mechanical, thermal,
biological, chemical, optical and magnetic readings
from the surrounding environment.

 A microactuator acts as a switch or a trigger to activate

an external device. As the microelectronics is
processing the data received from the microsensors, it
is making decisions on what to do based on this data.
Sometimes the decision will involve activating an
external device. If this decision is reached, the
micrelectronics will tell the microactuator to activate
this device.

 Due to the increase in technology for micromachining, extremely

small structures can be built onto the surface of a chip. These tiny
structures are called micro structures and are actually built right
into the silicon of the MEMS.
 Among other things, these microstructures can be used as valves
to control the flow of a substance or as very small filters.

 (1)Sensors: a device that converts energy from a nonelectrical

domain into an electrical quantity such as voltage, current, change in
resistance or capacitance, etc.
 Examples: accelerometers, gyroscopes, chemical sensors, pressure
sensors, optical sensors, energy scavenging devices, etc.
 (2) Actuators: a device that converts electrical energy into a
nonelectrical domain form of energy, such as kinetic, potential,
thermal, sound, etc.
 Examples: micromirrors, mechanical motion devices, heating
elements, resonators, relays and switches, micro pumps, and valves.

• deposit thin film of material (mask) anywhere between a few nm to 100
micrometers onto substrate
• physical: material placed onto substrate, techniques include sputtering
and evaporation
• chemical: stream of source gas reacts on substrate to grow product,
techniques include chemical vapor deposition and atomic layer

• substrates: silicon, glass, quartz

• thin films:polysilicon, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, metals, polymers.

• transfer of a pattern into a material after deposition in order to prepare for etching
techniques include some type of lithography, photolithography is common

• Wet etching: dipping substrate into chemical solution that selectively removes material
process provides good selectivity.
• Dry etching: material sputtered or dissolved from substrate with plasma or gas variations
choosing a method: desired shapes, etch depth and uniformity, surface roughness,
process compatibility, safety, cost, availability, environmental impact
Automotive airbag sensor

 in the form of a single chip containing a smart sensor, or accelerometer,

which measures the rapid deceleration of a vehicle on hitting an object.
The deceleration is sensed by a change in voltage. An electronic control
unit subsequently sends a signal to trigger and explosively fill the airbag.
 MEMS has enabled the same function to be accomplished by integrating
an accelerometer and the electronics into a single silicon chip, resulting in
a tiny device that can be housed within the steering wheel column and
costs only a few dollars.
Inkjet printer head

 Inkjet printers use a series of nozzles to spray drops of ink directly on to a

printing medium. Depending on the type of inkjet printer the droplets of
ink are formed in different ways; thermally or piezoelectrically.
 Within the printer head there is an array of tiny resistors known as heaters.
These resistors can be fired under microprocessor control with electronic
pulses of a few milliseconds (usually less than 3 microseconds). Ink flows
over each resistor, which when fired, heat up at 100ºC per second,
vaporizing the ink to form a bubble. As the bubble expands, some of the
ink is pushed out of a nozzle within a nozzle plate, landing on the paper
and solidifying almost instantaneously. When the bubble collapses, a
vacuum is created which pulls more ink into the print head from the
reservoir in the cartridge. It is worth noting there are no moving parts in this
system (apart from the ink itself) illustrating that not all MEMS devices are

 Friction is greater than inertia.

 Heat dissipation is greater than heat storage and consequently thermal
transport properties could be a problem or, conversely, a great benefit.
 Fluidic or mass transport properties are extremely important. Tiny flow
spaces are prone to blockages but can conversely regulate fluid
 Integration with on-chip circuitry is complex and device/domain specific.
Lab-on-a chip systems components may not scale down comparably.
 Miniature device packaging and testing is not straightforward. Certain
MEMS sensors require environmental access as well as protection from
other external influences.
 Cost – for the success of a MEMS device, it needs to leverage its IC batch
fabrication resources and be mass-produced. Hence mass-market drivers
must be found to generate the high volume production.

 An Introduction to MEMS, Published in 2002 by PRIME Faraday Partnership, Wolfson School

of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Loughborough University, Loughborough, © 2002 Loughborough University, ISBN 1-84402-
 A Novel PET-Based Piezoresistive MEMS Sensor Platform for Agricultural Applications,
Journal of michroelectromechanical Systems, VOL. 26, NO. 4, AUGUST 2017.
 What Is MEMS Technology?" What Is MEMS Technology? N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014
 Design of Diaphragm Based MEMS Pressure Sensor with Sensitivity Analysis for
Environmental Applications, A. Nallathambi, T. Shanmuganantham Sensors &
Transducers, Vol. 188, Issue 5, May 2015, pp. 48-54.
 IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine February 2012, Recent Advances in
MEMS, Sensor Technology— Biomedical Applications, Farbod Khoshnoud and Clarence
W. de Silva