Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS for Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems), also known as Micro Machined Systems, Micro Machines or micro fabricated, refer to small-scale systems that use mechanical components, may also include electronic components. Those MEMS systems that use biological components or alter a biological variable are known as BIO-MEMS.
MEMS are devices manufactured on a micro scale in a batch process (integrated circuits and microstructures) that convert a mechanical or biological signal into an electrical one and vice versa. The figure shows an example of MEMS which is a gear system.
Escalation laws. Small is best? When and under what conditions?
• Manufacturing processes. These include Manufacturing Processes or microfabrication (surface and bulk) as well as encapsulation techniques.
• Materials. Knowledge of materials science, structure of materials and mechanics of materials in particular of the materials used in micro fabrication
• Micromechatronics. More than doing mechanical design, it knows how electronics and mechanics merge to accomplish a task efficiently, creating synergy with control.
Micromechatronics, which is the theoretical basis for the development of MEMS, has its origin in mechatronics. Mechatronics is not a new branch of engineering, but rather a recently developed concept that emphasizes the need for integration and intensive interaction between different areas of engineering. Based on the above, reference can be made to the definition of mechatronics proposed by stollschulte: “Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of precision mechanical engineering, electronics, automatic control and systems for the design of products and processes”. There are, of course, other versions of this definition, but this one clearly emphasizes that mechatronics is application and design driven.
At present, this new approach proposed by mechatronics has been taken to the area of microtechnologies. This has created a new discipline known as micromechatronics, which consists of the synergistic application of microelectronics, mechanics and information technologies to solve problems in a systemic way. Micromechatronics includes a set of necessary knowledge.
Knowledge areas for develop mechatronic systems
The areas of knowledge required for conventional mechatronic systems and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are knowledge of classical mechanics and electromagnetic theory; for this reason they are “easier” to access for engineers; however, for the development of mechatronic systems using NEMS technology (Nano Electro Mechanical Systems) it is necessary to change paradigms and study quantum mechanics and nano electro mechanics.
The separation of the world of microelectronics and mechanics has disappeared due to the evolution of microelectronics technologies and the application of mathematical techniques based on energy, which allows the analysis of systems that integrate microelectronic and micromechanical components under a single paradigm (micromechatronics) and single package (CHIP). A micromachine is the clear example of this mix with the difference that the effects of gravity are minimized compared to conventional machines.
Because Si can be molded into the required device using traditional processes in IC production such as: photolithography, ion diffusion and implantation, thin film deposition, anisotropic etching, selective anodizing (includes Si pore formation). Si molding can be used as a template for the formation of microstructures in other materials such as: metals, ceramics, plastics, etc. These non-siliceous materials can be processed directly using photolithography, excimer lasers, or ion beams. Using these techniques, it is possible to design microstructures, which include: diaphragms, beams, gears, fluid control components such as nozzles, ducts, among others. The processed Si wafers can be bonded together by fusion welding or bonded to glass wafers using anodic welding techniques to make more complex devices and provide first-order assemblies. The wafers can be processed in batches, allowing them to be manufactured in the tens of thousands at low cost.