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Microelectromechanical systems: from established engineering applications to research platforms

Lecturer:  Maria F. Pantano (UNITN/DICAM)

Abstract:

The course aims at providing an overview of the technology of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Since their launch on the market in the 1990s, MEMS-based devices have brought deep changes in everyday life, enabling novel functions of electronic devices that are now well established (e.g., screen rotation in mobile phones). Currently, the world of MEMS includes a wide variety of miniaturized devices basically fabricated according to the fabrication routes of integrated circuits, and are provided with a combination of both electrical and mechanical components responsible for different sensing and/or actuation capabilities. Specifically, during the course, we will focus on the main sensing/actuating mechanisms (i.e., capacitive, electrothermal, piezoelectric) that are commonly exploited in MEMS devices, the typical microfabrication strategies, with a look at current trends and future perspectives. Finally, specific MEMS devices will be considered as examples, such as microaccelerometers or MEMS-based stages for the mechanical characterization of nanomaterials; these will be discussed in order to show the potential and versatility of MEMS, which are now established main actors in diverse
fields ranging from automotive, to health care and consumer electronics, as well as powerful tools supporting research. 

Duration: 20 hours (2,5 credits)

Registration: in order to register for the course please send an email to dicamphd [at] unitn.it