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Introduction to Microsystem Technology: A Guide for Students



Introduction to Microsystem Technology: A Guide for Students

Gerald Gerlach, Wolfram Dotzel, Dörte Müller (Translated by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-77092-4 April 2008 376 Pages

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Over half a century after the discovery of the piezoresistive effect, microsystem technology has experienced considerable developments. Expanding the opportunities of microelectronics to non-electronic systems, its number of application fields continues to increase. Microsensors are one of the most important fields, used in medical applications and micromechanics. Microfluidic systems are also a significant area, most commonly used in ink-jet printer heads.

This textbook focuses on the essentials of microsystems technology, providing a knowledgeable grounding and a clear path through this well-established scientific dicipline. With a methodical, student-orientated approach, Introduction to Microsystem Technology covers the following:

  • microsystem materials (including silicon, polymers and thin films), and the scaling effects of going micro;
  • fabrication techniques based on different material properties, descriptions of their limitations and functional and shape elements produced by these techniques;
  • sensors and actuators based on elements such as mechanical, fluidic, and thermal (yaw rate sensor components are described);
  • the influence of technology parameters on microsystem properties, asking, for example, when is the function of a microsystem device robust and safe?

The book presents problems at the end of each chapter so that you may test your understanding of the key concepts (full solutions for these are given on an accompanying website). Practical examples are included also, as well as case studies that enable a better understanding of the technology as a whole. With its extensive treatment on the fundamentals of microsystem technology, this book also serves as a compendium for engineers and technicians working with microsystem technology.


List of Symbols.

List of Abbreviations.

1 Introduction.

1.1 What is a Microsystem?

1.2 Microelectronics and Microsystem Technology.

1.3 Areas of Application and Trends of Development.

1.4 Example: Yaw Rate Sensor.

2 Scaling and Similarity.

2.1 Scaling.

2.2 Similarity and Dimensionless Numbers.

3 Materials.

3.1 Overview.

3.2 Single Crystalline Silicon.

3.3 Glasses.

3.4 Polymers.

3.5 Thin Films.

3.6 Comparison of Material Characteristics.

4 Microfabrication.

4.1 Overview.

4.2 Cleanliness During Production.

4.3 Lithography.

4.4 Thin-film Formation.

4.5 Layer Patterning.

4.6 Anisotropic Wet Chemical Deep Etching.

4.7 Doping.

4.8 Bonding Techniques.

4.9 Insulation Techniques.

4.10 Surface Micromachining.

4.11 Near-surface Micromachining.

4.12 HARMST.

4.13 Miniaturized Classical Techniques.

4.14 Selection of Microtechnical Manufacturing Techniques.

5 Packaging.

5.1 Tasks and Requirements.

5.2 Functions of Packaging.

6 Function and Form Elements in Microsystem Technology.

6.1 Mechanical Elements.

6.2 Fluidic Elements.

6.3 Thermal Elements.

7 Sensors and Actuators.

7.1 Reversible and Parametric Transducers.

7.2 Transducers for Sensors and Actuators.

8 Design of Microsystems.

8.1 Design Methods and Tools.

8.2 Systems with Lumped Parameters.

8.3 Systems with Distributed Parameters.

9 Effect of Technological Processes on Microsystem Properties.

9.1 Parameter-based Microsystem Design.

9.2 Robust Microsystem Design.

10 The Future of Microsystems.

10.1 Status and Trends in Microsystem Technology.

10.2 Microoptical Applications.

10.3 Probe Tips.

10.4 RF Microsystems.

10.5 Actuators.

10.6 Microfluidic Systems.

10.7 Chemical, Biological and Medical Systems.

10.8 Energy Harvesting and Wireless Communications.

10.9 Micro Fuel Cells.


Appendix A Physical Constants.

Appendix B Coordinate Transformation.

B.1 Elastic Coefficients.

B.2 Piezoresistive Coefficients.


Appendix C Properties of Silicon Dioxide and Silicon Nitride Layers.


Appendix D Nomenclature of Thin-film Processes.


Appendix E Adhesion of Surface Micromechanical Structures.

E.1 Capillary Forces.

E.2 Critical Length of Cantilever Springs.



Introduction to Microsystem Technology Visit for end of chapter problem solutions.