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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of

Issue 1 • Date Feb. 2005

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 31
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): c1 - c4
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  • Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems publication information

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): c2
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  • 2004 Reviewers List

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 1 - 3
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  • Characterizing fruit fly flight behavior using a microforce sensor with a new comb-drive configuration

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 4 - 11
    Cited by:  Papers (58)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1096 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper reports a MEMS microforce sensor with a novel configuration of bulk micromachined differential triplate comb drives that overcomes the difficulty of electrically isolating the two stationary capacitor comb sets in bulk micromachining. A high-yield fabrication process using deep-reactive ion etching (DRIE) on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and only three lithographic masks was utilized to construct the high aspect ratio devices. The process features dry release of both suspended structures and the entire device in order to protect fragile components. The sensor has a high sensitivity (1.35 mV/μN), good linearity (<4%), and a large bandwidth (7.8 kHz), and is therefore well suited for characterizing flight behavior of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster). The technique allows for the instantaneous measurement of flight forces, which result from a combination of aerodynamic forces and inertial forces generated by the wings, and demonstrates a novel experimental paradigm for exploring flight biomechanics in the fruit fly. The average lift force is determined to be 9.3 μN (±2.3 μN), which is in the range of typical body weights of fruit flies. The potential impact of this research extends beyond gathering flight data on Drosophila melanogaster by demonstrating how MEMS technology can be used to provide valuable tools for biomechanical investigations. View full abstract»

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  • A wireless microsystem for the remote sensing of pressure, temperature, and relative humidity

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 12 - 22
    Cited by:  Papers (71)  |  Patents (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2144 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work presents a microsystem that utilizes inductive power and data transfer through a backscatter-modulated carrier and a transducer interface that monitors its environment through embedded capacitive transducers. Formed on a single chip, transducers for temperature, pressure, and relative humidity are realized using a silicon-on-glass process that combines anodic bonding and a silicon-gold eutectic to realize vacuum-sealed cavities with low-impedance (6 Ω) electrical feedthroughs. Temperature is sensed capacitively using a row of Si/Au bimorph beams that produce a sensitivity of 15 fF/°C from 20 to 100°C. The absolute pressure sensors have a sensitivity of 15 fF/torr and a range from 500 to 1200 torr, while the relative humidity sensor responds with 39 fF/%RH from 20 to 95%RH. A relaxation oscillator implements low-power capacitance-to-frequency conversion on a second chip with a sensitivity of 750 Hz/pF at 10 kHz, forming a 341 μW transducer interface. The system is remotely powered by a 3-MHz carrier and has a volume of 32 mm3, including the hybrid antenna wound around the perimeter of the system. View full abstract»

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  • Bulk micromachined tunneling tips integrated with positioning actuators

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 23 - 28
    Cited by:  Papers (14)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1552 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We have successfully developed an integrated micromechanical system for controlling tunneling current. A pair of nanoscale tunneling tips have been integrated with a silicon micromachined electrostatic actuator of high-aspect ratio. The tip sharpness has been observed to be as sharp as commercial tips by scanning over surface of carbon graphite as an atom scale. We have also succeeded to observe the tunneling current in the air and in the vacuum condition (in TEM). View full abstract»

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  • Static and electrically actuated shaped MEMS mirrors

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 29 - 36
    Cited by:  Papers (7)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1832 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel digitally-actuated shaped micromirror for on-off optical switch applications is described. Reflective static spherical mirrors were designed and fabricated using conventional surface micromachining and the MultiPoly process, a technique for depositing multilayers of LPCVD polysilicon in order to control the overall stress and stress gradient. The resulting mirrors were measured to have radii of curvature of approximately 9 mm in agreement with design predictions. Based upon these static mirrors, an actuatable micromirror (diameter=500 μm, static radius curvature=6.4 mm) was designed for snap action. This mirror was simulated using an electromechanical coupled-field model and fabricated using the MultiPoly process. Its performance was measured dynamically using an interferometer. A curved-to-flat digital actuation of the mirror was successfully achieved with a pull-in voltage of 38 V. View full abstract»

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  • Silicon microoptical mirrors to make close parallel beams with conventional laser diodes

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 37 - 43
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2016 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We have fabricated two kinds of silicon microoptical mirrors to make optical axes of two high-power laser diodes close at an interval of 100 μm, utilizing anisotropic etching of silicon with the self-alignment mask. One of them is a microrectangular prism mirror (MRPM). It has two orthogonal reflection mirrors, composed of polished [110] and anisotropically etched (111) planes of silicon. The other is a micro two-reflection mirror (MTRM). It has two pairs of two reflectors facing each other in parallel. The use of MTRM made the mounting process easier than that of MRPM. The use of the self-alignment mask made mirror surface smoother and it has been confirmed that full widths at half maximum (FWHM) are almost the same with and without reflections by MRPM or MTRM, respectively. It has also been shown that the etched (111) plane has the etching-condition dependence of surface roughness. View full abstract»

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  • A temperature-dithering closed-loop interface circuit for a scanning thermal microscopy system

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 44 - 53
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (736 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work presents an interface circuit for low-frequency dithering measurements of resistor-based transducers. It is demonstrated in the context of a polyimide-shank scanning thermal microscopy probe which provides high thermal sensitivity and spatial resolution, but has a low bandwidth from both mechanical and thermal perspectives. These pose challenges in temperature dithering and control, as well as noise immunity. The circuit includes a proportional-integral controller and a demodulator, along with appropriate amplifier and filter blocks. It keeps the average temperature of the probe tip constant while synchronously detecting variations in the second harmonic of the modulated signal as the tip is scanned across the sample surface. Strategic choices in the circuit architecture and topology are evaluated, and the overall system including the sensor and the circuit is simulated. Measurements of the implemented system show that a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 15.7 is achieved while scanning a photoresist sample of 218 nm thickness on a silicon substrate, and that the detection limit for variations in thermal conductance is <3 pW/K. View full abstract»

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  • Axial-flux permanent magnet machines for micropower generation

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 54 - 62
    Cited by:  Papers (53)  |  Patents (21)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1312 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper reports on the design, fabrication, and testing of an axial-flux permanent magnet electromagnetic generator. The generator comprises a polymer rotor with embedded permanent magnets sandwiched between two silicon stators with electroplated planar coils. Finite element simulations have been carried out using ANSYS to determine the effects on performance of design parameters such as the number of layers in the stator coils, and the rotor-stator gap. The effect of including soft magnetic pole pieces on the stators has also been studied. A prototype device with a diameter of 7.5 mm has been tested, and shown to deliver an output power of 1.1 mW per stator at a rotation speed of 30 000 rpm. The generator has been integrated with a microfabricated axial-flow microturbine to produce a compact power conversion device for power generation and flow sensing applications. View full abstract»

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  • Design of microresonators under uncertainty

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 63 - 69
    Cited by:  Papers (18)  |  Patents (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (384 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A methodology for robust design analysis of microelectromechanical systems is presented by considering the example of comb microresonators and uncertainty in parameters governing the resonant frequency and the transconductance values. Analytical models for the variability in the resonant frequency and transconductance are developed as function of the parameter uncertainty, and used as objective functions sought to be minimized in a robust design endeavor. An enumeration search over the design space is utilized to determine the optimal design of microresonators that minimize the variability subject to constraints on performance requirements. The results are presented over a wide interval of operating resonant frequency, and can be used in the robust design of microresonators. View full abstract»

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  • A differential viscosity detector for use in miniaturized chemical separation systems

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 70 - 80
    Cited by:  Papers (7)  |  Patents (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1064 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We present a micromachined differential viscosity detector suitable for integration into an on-chip hydrodynamic chromatography system. The general design, however, is applicable to any liquid chromatography system that is used for separation of polymers. The micromachined part of the detector consists of a fluidic Wheatstone bridge and a low hydraulic capacitance pressure sensor of which the pressure sensing is based on optical detection of a membrane deflection. The stand-alone sensor shows a resolution in specific viscosity of 3×10-3, in which specific viscosity is defined as the increase in viscosity by a sample, relative to the baseline viscosity of a solvent. View full abstract»

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  • Combined circuit/device modeling and simulation of integrated microfluidic systems

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 81 - 95
    Cited by:  Papers (29)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1208 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A combined circuit/device model for the analysis of integrated microfluidic systems is presented. The complete model of an integrated microfluidic device incorporates modeling of fluidic transport, chemical reaction, reagent mixing, and separation. The fluidic flow is generated by an applied electrical field or by a combined electrical field and pressure gradient. In the proposed circuit/device model, the fluidic network has been represented by a circuit model and the functional units of the μ-TAS (micro Total Analysis System) have been represented by appropriate device models. We demonstrate the integration of the circuit and the device models by using an example, where the output from the fluidic transport module serves as the input for the other modules such as mixing, chemical reaction and separation. The combined circuit/device model can be used for analysis and design of entire microfluidic systems with very little computational expense, while maintaining the desired level of accuracy. View full abstract»

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  • Plastic micropump with ferrofluidic actuation

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 96 - 102
    Cited by:  Papers (50)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (856 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We present the realization and characterization of a new type of plastic micropump based on the magnetic actuation of a magnetic liquid. The pump consists of two serial check-valves that convert the periodic motion of a ferrofluidic plug into a pulsed quasi-continuous flow. The ferrofluid is actuated by the mechanical motion of an external NdFeB permanent magnet. The water-based ferrofluid is synthesized in-house using a coprecipitation method and has a saturation magnetization of 32 mT. The micropump consists of various layers of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which are microstructured by powder blasting or by standard mechanical micromachining techniques, and are assembled in a single plastic structure using a monomer gluing solution. Two soft silicone membranes are integrated in the microfluidic structure to form two check-valves. Water has been successfully pumped at flow rates of up to 30 μL/min and pumping is achieved at backpressures of up to 25 mbar. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization and modeling of a microfluidic dielectrophoresis filter for biological species

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 103 - 112
    Cited by:  Papers (32)  |  Patents (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1216 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Microfabricated interdigitated electrode array is a convenient form of electrode geometry for dielectrophoretic trapping of particles and biological entities such as cells and bacteria within microfluidic biochips. We present experimental results and finite element modeling of the holding forces for both positive and negative dielectrophoretic traps on microfabricated interdigitated electrodes within a microfluidic biochip fabricated in silicon with a 12-μm-deep chamber. Anodic bonding was used to close the channels with a glass cover. An Experimental protocol was then used to measure the voltages necessary to capture different particles (polystyrene beads, yeast cells, spores and bacteria) against destabilizing fluid flows at a given frequency. The experimental results and those from modeling are found to be in close agreement, validating our ability to model the dielectrophoretic filter for bacteria, spores, yeast cells, and polystyrene beads. This knowledge can be very useful in designing and operating a dielectrophoretic barrier or filter to sort and select particles entering the microfluidic devices for further analysis. View full abstract»

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  • Microsieve supporting palladium-silver alloy membrane and application to hydrogen separation

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 113 - 124
    Cited by:  Papers (7)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1096 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A submicron thick and defect-free palladium-silver (Pd-Ag) alloy membrane is fabricated on a supporting microsieve by using microfabrication techniques. The microfabrication process also creates a robust wafer-scale membrane module, which can easily be inserted into a membrane holder to have gas-tight connections to the outer world. The microfabricated membrane demonstrated high separation fluxes of up to 4 mol H2/m2·s with a minimal selectivity of 1500 for hydrogen over helium (H2/He) at 450°C and 83 kPa H2 retentate pressure. The present membrane has great potential for hydrogen purification and in applications like dehydrogenation chemistry. In addition, the presented technology can be used to fabricate other kinds of ultrathin but strong and defect-free membranes to set up new applications. View full abstract»

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  • Frequency-dependent electrostatic actuation in microfluidic MEMS

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 125 - 133
    Cited by:  Papers (48)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (936 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Electrostatic actuators exhibit fast response times and are easily integrated into microsystems because they can be fabricated with standard IC micromachining processes and materials. Although electrostatic actuators have been used extensively in "dry" MEMS, they have received less attention in microfluidic systems probably because of challenges such as electrolysis, anodization, and electrode polarization. Here we demonstrate that ac drive signals can be used to prevent electrode polarization, and thus enable electrostatic actuation in many liquids, at potentials low enough to avoid electrochemistry. We measure the frequency response of an interdigitated silicon comb-drive actuator in liquids spanning a decade of dielectric permittivities and four decades of conductivity, and present a simple theory that predicts the characteristic actuation frequency. The analysis demonstrates the importance of the native oxide on silicon actuator response, and suggests that the actuation frequency can be shifted by controlling the thickness of the oxide. For native silicon devices, actuation is predicted at frequencies less than 10 MHz, in electrolytes of ionic strength up to 100 mmol/L, and thus electrostatic actuation may be feasible in many bioMEMS and other microfluidic applications. View full abstract»

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  • Miniaturized flowthrough microdispenser with piezoceramic tripod actuation

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 134 - 140
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1104 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, the further development of a silicon flowthrough microdispenser is described. Previously reported designs of the dispenser used bimorph, and later multilayered, piezoelectric actuator elements for the generation of droplets. The introduction of a multilayered actuator significantly reduced the voltage amplitude needed to dispense droplets. Dispenser properties relevant for chemical analysis systems, e.g., reduced sample volume, internal surface area, and dispersion, were improved by miniaturization of the device. A new actuator design, the tripod, is presented to enable further dispenser miniaturization and to facilitate device assembly. Tripod actuators were manufactured using a prototyping process, based on micromilling, for multilayer piezoceramic components. A building technique for miniaturized electrical interconnects, based on microstructured flexible printed circuits, is also suggested in line with the prospect of future miniaturization. The microfluidic properties of the tripod-actuated dispenser were evaluated. Stable droplet generation in the frequency range from 0 to 3 kHz was demonstrated, providing a maximum dispensed flow rate of 7.8 μL/min. View full abstract»

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  • High-speed microfabricated silicon turbomachinery and fluid film bearings

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 141 - 152
    Cited by:  Papers (38)  |  Patents (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3080 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A single-crystal silicon micromachined air turbine supported on gas-lubricated bearings has been operated in a controlled and sustained manner at rotational speeds greater than 1 million revolutions per minute, with mechanical power levels approaching 5 W. The device is formed from a fusion bonded stack of five silicon wafers individually patterned on both sides using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). It consists of a single stage radial inflow turbine on a 4.2-mm diameter rotor that is supported on externally pressurized hydrostatic journal and thrust bearings. This work presents the design, fabrication, and testing of the first microfabricated rotors to operate at circumferential tip speeds up to 300 m/s, on the order of conventional high performance turbomachinery. Successful operation of this device motivates the use of silicon micromachined high-speed rotating machinery for power microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) applications such as portable energy conversion, micropropulsion, and microfluidic pumping and cooling. View full abstract»

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  • A new methodology to investigate fracture toughness of freestanding MEMS and advanced materials in thin film form

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 153 - 159
    Cited by:  Papers (13)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1296 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work presents a novel membrane deflection fracture experiment (MDFE) to investigate the fracture toughness of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and other advanced materials in thin film form. It involves the stretching of freestanding thin-film membranes, in a fixed-fixed configuration, containing preexisting cracks. The fracture behavior of ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD), a material developed at Argonne National Laboratory, is investigated to illustrate the methodology. When the fracture initiates from sharp cracks, produced by indentation, the fracture toughness was found to be 4.5±0.25 MP m12/. When the fracture initiates from blunt notches with radii about 100 nm, machined by focused ion beam (FIB), the mean value of the apparent fracture toughness was found to be 6.9 MPa m12/. Comparison of these two values, using the model proposed by Drory et al., provides a correction factor of two-thirds, which corresponds to a mean value of ρ/2x=1/2. View full abstract»

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  • Determination of the growth strain of LPCVD polysilicon

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 160 - 166
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (528 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This work presents a semi-empirical procedure for determining the through-the-thickness variation of the eigenstrain (eigenstrain is a generic term for any inelastic strain, including plastic strain, free thermal expansion, phase transformation, etc.) that develops during the growth of thin polysilicon films formed using low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD). This variation is assumed to depend on the polysilicon microstructure and deposition conditions, but not on the characteristics of the (single crystal silicon) substrate. The procedure involves the use of an elastic laminated plate model to determine the eigenstrain distribution that predicts the experimentally measured substrate curvatures. In comparison to the "shaving method" presented by A.Ni et al., which relies on incremental etching of a single specimen, an alternative experimental procedure is followed to measure the substrate curvatures of a series of different thickness films. While being significantly more time-consuming, the alternative procedure was expected to lead to improved predictions of the eigenstrain distribution, as it avoids the nonuniform film thicknesses produced by the etching procedure. However, a comparison of the curvature histories measured using the two approaches demonstrates that, as long as sufficiently small increments are used in the shaving method, then the improvement is insignificant. This suggests that the plasma etching does not alter the polysilicon's intrinsic growth strain, and that the etch rate nonuniformities across the substrate are small. The eigenstrain distributions could be used, in conjunction with structural mechanics models, to design multilayered polysilicon devices with prescribed curvatures. View full abstract»

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  • A microfabricated wall shear-stress sensor with capacitative sensing

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 167 - 175
    Cited by:  Papers (14)  |  Patents (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (776 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A silicon-based micromachined, floating-element sensor for low-magnitude wall shear-stress measurement has been developed. Sensors over a range of element sizes and sensitivities have been fabricated by thin-wafer bonding and deep-reactive ion-etching techniques. Detailed design, fabrication, and testing issues are described in this paper. Detection of the floating-element motion is accomplished using either direct or differential capacitance measurement. The design objective is to measure the shear-stress distribution at levels of O(0.10 Pa) with a spatial resolution of approximately O(100 μm). It is assumed that the flow direction is known, permitting one to align the sensor appropriately so that a single component shear measurement is a good estimate of the prevalent shear. Using a differential capacitance detection scheme these goals have been achieved. We tested the sensor at shear levels ranging from 0 to 0.20 Pa and found that the lowest detectable shear-stress level that the sensor can measure is 0.04 Pa with an 8% uncertainty on a 200 μm×500 μm floating element plate. View full abstract»

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  • Second International Workshop on Networked Sensing Systems (INSS 2005)

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 176
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • The 13th International Conference on Solid-State Sensors Actuators and Microsystems

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 177
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Fluid Engineering in Micro and Nanosystems Symposium (Microfluidics 2005)

    Publication Year: 2005 , Page(s): 178
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Aims & Scope

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to: devices ranging in size from microns to millimeters, IC-compatible fabrication techniques, other fabrication techniques, measurement of micro phenomena, theoretical results, new materials and designs, micro actuators, micro robots, micro batteries, bearings, wear, reliability, electrical interconnections, micro telemanipulation, and standards appropriate to MEMS. Application examples and application oriented devices in fluidics, optics, bio-medical engineering, etc., are also of central interest.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Christofer Hierold
ETH Zürich, Micro and Nanosystems