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Sunday, August 25, 2019

#409 Silicon makes MEMS possible

A very distinct class of semiconductor devices is represented by Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), also referred to as Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) depending on the size of device features. The electro-mechanical semiconductor devices were conceived as a way to exploit excellent mechanical properties of silicon which allows literally endless possibilities for integration of electronic and mechanical functions within a single material system.


MEMS (Micro-Electro Mechanical System) and NEMS (Nanp-Electro Mechanical System) devices integrate mechanical and electrical functions using somewhat modified, but otherwise standard semiconductor device manufacturing technology. Such functional integration is possible only because silicon, besides advantageous electrical and cost/manufacturing related characteristics, also features outstanding mechanical properties. This combination is unique to silicon and cannot be reproduced using any other material. In broad terms, MEMS/NEMS devices fall into two categories of microsensors and microactuators. In the former case mechanical motion of the parts of the MEMS device caused for instance by acceleration (accelerometers), or pressure (pressure sensors) is converted into electrical signal. In the latter case, MEMS device is converting electrical signal into mechanical motion by engaging micro-motors, micro-gears, and other mechanical parts comprising its structure.

Posted by Jerzy Ruzyllo at 04:21 PM | Semiconductors | Link is a personal blog of Jerzy Ruzyllo. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University. With over forty years' experience in academic research and teaching in semiconductor engineering he has a unique perspective on the developments in this technical domain and enjoys blogging about it.

This book gives a complete account of semiconductor engineering covering semiconductor properties, semiconductor materials, semiconductor devices and their uses, process technology, fabrication processes, and semiconductor materials and process characterization.

With over 2000 terms defined and explained, Semiconductor Glossary is the most complete reference in the field of semiconductors on the market today.


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