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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Karl F. Bohringer
E E 502
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Microelectro Mechanical Systems

Theoretical and practical aspects in design, analysis, and fabrication of MEMS devices. Fabrication processes, including bulk and surface micromachining. MEMS design and layout. MEMS CAD tools. Mechanical and electrical design. Applications such as micro sensors and actuators, or chemical and thermal transducers, recent advances. Offered: jointly with M E 504/MSE 504.

Class description

MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) is a rapidly growing field which builds on the existing silicon processing infrastructure to create micron-scale machines. Unlike conventional integrated circuits, these devices can have many functions, including sensing, communication, and actuation. Just like microelectronics, MEMS technology will permeate our everyday lives in the coming decades. This class is an introduction to this exciting new field. The course will cover a wide range of topics including - bulk and surface micromachining - mechanical and electrical design - MEMS design and layout - fabrication processes - applications, for example - microactuator arrays for "smart surfaces" - biosensors for medical applications - transducers for miniature spacecraft

Student learning goals

Gain critical cross-disciplinary knowledge about designing electromechanical transducers, including sensors and actuators. As a result, the student should be able to analyze the key performance aspects of simple electromechanical devices and understand the options and challenges associated with a particular design task.

Attain a solid background in the area of microfabrication, to the extent that a student without a prior background in MEMS will be able to critically judge a fabrication process and synthesize a new one for future applications.

Become experienced with commonly practiced designs and fabrication processes of MEMS through studies of classical and concurrent cases.

Obtain the analytical and practical know-how to evaluate many intersecting points - design, fabrication, performance, robustness, and cost, among others - involved in successfully developing integrated MEMS devices.

General method of instruction

Besides the regular classes, this course will include a one-day cleanroom session and small research projects. There will also be homeworks and a midterm exam.

Recommended preparation

This class covers a broad set of topics in multiple engineering disciplines but does not have specific course requirements. It is a prerequisite for BioE 599J, an advanced graduate course in bioengineering applications of MEMS that is offered every even Winter Quarter.

Class assignments and grading

There will be approximately 4 homeworks, 1 midterm exam, and 1 class project (teams of 2-3 students).

Homework and Midterm Exam: Design, analysis, layout, and simulation of MEMS devices.

Project: Small research project summarized in a four-page writeup (conference abstract style). Papers of exceptional quality will be considered for submission to a conference.

Assignments can be expected to be moderate to challenging and may require background research, creative problem solving, and team work (for project).

Homeworks: 40% Midterm: 25% Project: 35%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Course Homepage
Last Update by Karl F. Bohringer
Date: 09/20/2009