What is MEMS?
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) is the integration of a number of microcomponents on a single chip which allows the microsystem to both sense and control the environment. The components typically include microelectronic integrated circuits (the “brains”), sensors (the “senses” and “nervous system”), and actuators (the “hands” and “arms”).
The components are typically integrated on a single chip using microfabrication technologies. The electronics, mechanical and electromechanical components are fabricated using technologies borrowed heavily, but not exclusively, from integrated circuit fabrication technology. There are three principal
Deposition processes – thin films of material are placed on a substrate
Lithography – a patterned mask is applied on top of the films
Etching processes – the films are etched selectively to provide relief following
the mask outlines
As described at MEMSNet “MEMS promises to revolutionize nearly every product category by bringing together silicon-based microelectronics with micromachining technology, making possible the realization of complete systems-on-a-chip. MEMS is an enabling technology allowing the development of smart products, augmenting the computational ability of microelectronics with the perception and control capabilities of microsensors and microactuators and expanding the space of possible designs and applications.”
MEMS applications are growing fast. They are currently used in:
Washing machines – vibration
sensors for load imbalance
Cars – accelerometers (air bags), roll sensors, ABS
Vacuums – dirt sensors
Microwave ovens – strain gages for food weight
Home theater, cell phones, ear thermometers, stud finders, inkjet printers, game pads for video games, disk drives, robotics, projection displays, and more
SmallTech will help improve and extend your MEMS devices and systems – and help evaluate whether new MEMS application areas make sense for your company.
Some Useful Links
MEMSNet – MEMS and Nanotechnology Clearinghouse
Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center
Trimmer – a
large listing by Bill Trimmer of MEMS-related links
MEMSWorld – literature compendium from Case Western
TinyTech – jobs and information resource in MEMS and Nanotech
SmallTimes – online magazine specializing in MEMS and Nanotech
DirectBuy Get manufacturer direct pricing on thousands of brand-name items in members-only showrooms and design centers.
Electronics Forum Discussion Group on Electronics, VLSI, RF, RFIC, Wireless Technologies.
Books on mems and nanotechnology
Title : Nanophotonics
author : Prasad
Description : Nanophotonics is emerging as a multidisciplinary new frontier of science and technology, and is capturing the imagination of scientists and engineers worldwide because of its potential applications to many areas of present and future information and image processing technologies. These technologies are expected to revolutionize many aspects of data collection, processing, interpretation, display and storage. Novel nanostructured materials are critically needed for implementation of these revolutionary technologies. Along with these materials needs, there are needs for a theoretical foundation to guide the development of multifunctional molecular blocks, and for methods of organizing these building blocks on the nanoscale to control the relevant interactions and dynamics for a desired device function. This book serves as an introductory text and reference in this area, offering a comprehensive collection of topics which cover the foundations, theory, fabrication, materials, and applications of nanophotonics.
Title : Nano Mechanics and Materials: Theory, Multiscale Methods and Applications
author : Liu
Description : This text, written by respected researchers in the field, informs researchers and practitioners about the fundamental concepts in nano mechanics and materials, focusing on their modelling via multiple scale methods and techniques. The book systematically covers the theory behind multi-particle and nanoscale systems, introduces multiple scale methods, and finally looks at contemporary applications in nano-structured and bio-inspired materials. The authors begin by explaining the potential of nanoscale engineering, and the rationale behind the multiple scale modelling method in a comprehensive introduction. They then follow this by providing theoretical information on the mechanics of a system of particles, molecular forces, and lattice mechanics. The next chapter introduces the reader to potential methods used to analyse these materials, which most importantly includes the multiple scale modelling method. A substantial section is taken up with introducing the bridging scale method, which is backed up with a chapter on numerical examples using this technique. Analysis of materials applications and bio-inspired applications, using and testing the multiple scale modelling method concludes the text.
Title : RF MEMS: Theory, Design, and Technology
author : Rebeiz
Description : RF MEMS, such as switches, varactors, and phase shifters, exhibit virtually zero power consumption or loss. For that reason these types of devices are being developed intensively by many corporations for potential use in telecommunications equipment. This book sets out the basics of RF MEMS and describes how to design practical devices and circuits. As well as covering fundamentals, Rebeiz discusses the ‘tricks of the trade’ and presents a range of real-world applications. The author was the recipient of the 2000 research Microwave Prize, and is a consultant for Rockwell, Raytheon, Analog Devices, and Agilent.
Title : Fundamentals of BioMEMS and Medical Microdevices
author : Saliterman
Description : This book is the first dedicated to BioMEMS training, and is suitable for a signel semester course for upper senior and graduate students in a bioengineering program. It is also suitable as an introduction to others interested or already working in the field.
Title : Introduction to Nanotechnology
author : Poole
Description : Nanotechnology has become one of the most important and exciting fields in the forefront of Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. It shows great promise for providing us in the near future with many breakthroughs that will change the direction of technological advances in a wide range of applications. The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to the subject of nanotechnology on a level that allows researchers in different areas to obtain an appreciation of developments in nanotechnology outside their own fields of expertise, and that will allow technical administrators and managers to obtain an overview of the subject. In addition, the book will be suitable for introductory surveys of the field on the graduate level. This volume therefore will not review the latest developments in research on nanotechnology, but rather provide an introduction to the various areas of this field using representative examples of research results to illustrate important features of each individual area of investigation.
Title : Smart Material Systems and MEMS: Design and Development Methodologies
author : Varadan
Description : Presenting unified coverage of the design and modeling of smart micro- and macrosystems, this book addresses fabrication issues and outlines the challenges faced by engineers working with smart sensors in a variety of applications. Part I deals with the fundamental concepts of a typical smart system and its constituent components. Preliminary fabrication and characterization concepts are introduced before design principles are discussed in detail. Part III presents a comprehensive account of the modeling of smart systems, smart sensors and actuators. Part IV builds upon the fundamental concepts to analyze fabrication techniques for silicon-based MEMS in more detail. Practicing engineers will benefit from the detailed assessment of applications in communications technology, aerospace, biomedical and mechanical engineering. The book can also be used as a reference or textbook for graduates following a course in smart sensors, actuators and systems.
Title : Nanotechnology For Dummies
author : Booker
Description : problems. It includes a background of nanotechnology, the industries that will be affected by this technology, what limitations these industries have and how nanotechnology will help overcome these limitations. More importantly, this book will educate the public and dispel myths. Part I: Introduction – Getting Started with Nanotechnology Part II: Industrial Materials Part III: Computers and Telecommunications Part IV: Medical Part V: Energy Part VI: Investors Guide Part of 10s