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mems technology

Posts Tagged mems technology

MEMS Devices

MEMS is an acronym for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. It combines electrical and mechanical elements together into one piece that measures, to put things into perspective, less than the width of a single human hair.

Essentially, this nanotechnology-derivative allows the “brains” and the “arms and legs” of an operating system to be put onto one small silicon microchip, whereas prior the development of MEMS they were two separate systems that had to be integrated.

Not only does the new one-chip combination allow for streamlined efficiency, it also means lower production costs and more reliability.

Additionally, it has made possible a whole new set of “smart” products that can use the MEMS chip to bridge gaps between various disciplines.

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MEMS Technological Developments

MEMS stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and if that makes no sense to you, don’t worry—lots of people are just discovering this new technology for themselves.

This unique system combines sensors, actuators, mechanical components, and electronics on one silicon base; essentially it is a type of glorified computer chip.

Typically, microfabrication is used to apply the various elements to their silicon wafer.

The many components that go on the wafer all have their different manufacturing processes: electronics are typically made separately using integrated circuit, or IC, process sequences (this can include BICMOS, CMOS, or Bipolar techniques.) The micromechanical elements, on the other hand, are often micromachined.

This means that a high-tech device, sometimes a laser cutter, etches away parts of the silicon chip, or sometimes areas are added in order to create the end result.With the advent of MEMS technology, the techno-geek dream of having an entire system on one chip has become reality.

Prior to MEMS, two separate components were required to work in tandem: the microelectronics on a silicon chip, and the micromachined mechanical elements in a different format. Combining them into one efficient MEMS system eliminates several steps of production as well as the need for a connector between the two elements.

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