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A microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) laboratory course (MEMSlab) in the Mechanical and Process Engineering Department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), is presented. The course has been taught for four years and has been attended primarily by Master's students from mechanical and electrical engineering; since fall 2006, the course has been required within the Master of Micro and Nanosystems curriculum. Students participating in the MEMSlab course learn the operational principles of comb-structure accelerometers, as well as how to fabricate, package, and test single-axis accelerometers, thereby being exposed to the multiple disciplines and practical topics that are involved in the production of MEMS and microelectronics. Based upon the course assessments, which are summarized and discussed, one of the benefits of MEMSlab is the course format. This format, which includes a dedicated course text, referred to as the ldquoscript,rdquo and two introductory lecture sessions, has allowed students without prior semiconductor physics or process experience to participate fully in the course and to learn the major elements of MEMS fabrication. The MEMSlab course provides students at the ETH Zurich with their sole opportunity to experience clean room microfabrication through a structured course setting, since there are no other solid-state device fabrication laboratory courses offered at the ETH Zurich.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009