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Study-Unit Description
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LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics

DESCRIPTION This study-unit covers classification of microsensors, applications, benefits of microsensors including scaling laws. The unit then also presents an overview of MEMS fabrication processes and materials, lithography and etching; silicon and polymer-based processes; electrical and mechanical properties of MEMS devices: electrical and thermal conductivity, stress and strain, stiffness matrix, bending of beams, torsional deflection, spring constant and mechanical resonance.

The study-unit also covers fluid-based MEMS: fluid mechanics concepts, lab-on-CD technology, dispensers, flow control, valves, hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces, electrostatic actuation, SAW actuation.

Furthermore, issues of processing analogue and digital output signals from micro and nanosensors, as well as interfacing of micro and nanosensors are also presented. Levels of integration (circuit level, MEMS level, microsystem level, SoC and SiP) are also discussed.

An introduction to Tanner Tools/Coventorware software for MEMS design is also covered.

Study-unit Aims

This unit aims at:
- training students in quantitative analysis and design techniques for various types of MEMS devices ranging from beam structures to microfluidic devices for applications such as switches, varactors and filters.
- training students on the issues of interfacing MEMS devices to the rest of an integrated embedded system.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand the underlying principles and fabrication processes of typical MEMS devices;
- understand quantitatively the physics behinds MEMS operation;
- understand the type of output of typical MEMS devices.

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- to design basic MEMS devices;
- to analyse qualitatively typical MEMS devices;
- to design interface circuitry for MEMS devices as essential in the context of embedded system design;
- to use MEMS design tools such as Coventorwar

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Main Text:
-Foundation of MEMS, second edition, Chang Liu, ISBN 978-0-273-75224-0 Pearson.

Supplementary Reading:
- Microsystems Design, Stephen D. Senturia, ISBN: 9780792372462, Kluwer.
- Mohamed Gad-el-Hak, The MEMS Handbook, CRC Press, 978-0849300776

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Practicum & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Practical No 10%
Examination (3 Hours) Yes 90%

LECTURER/S Ivan Grech (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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