Three new standards for MEMS devices

Jul 16, 2004

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), along with their colleagues at several companies, are completing experiments that validate new standards aimed at improving emerging new microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, devices.

Microaccelerometers, the devices used to activate automotive airbags, are MEMS devices. In the future, microscopic MEMs devices made with gears and motors may, for example, be developed to clear blockages in arteries.

NIST scientists presented their findings at the semiconductor industry's annual SEMICON West trade show, held July 12-16, 2004, in San Francisco.

Working with ASTM International, NIST has developed three new standards aimed at helping researchers measure more accurately several characteristics of materials used to construct MEMS devices. With more accurate measurements of microsystem materials, designers and manufacturers hope to improve the design and performance of these devices. Currently, laboratories measuring the properties of similar device materials produce widely varying results.

Each new standard is a set of procedures for measuring dimensions or a particular materials property. One standard advances the "in-plane length" measurement of a microsystem, or its length in one dimension, typically from 25 micrometers to 1,000 micrometers. A second standard would improve measurement of "residual strain," or the strain the parts of a microsystem undergo before they relax after the removal of the stiff oxides that surround them during manufacturing. The final standard aims to improve measurement of the "strain gradient," which determines the maximum distance that a MEMS component can be suspended in air before it begins to bend or curl.

Six companies have been collaborating with NIST on a so-called "round robin" experiment to validate the MEMS standards. The standards should significantly reduce variations in measurements between laboratories.

Explore further: Google, Facebook update contrasting plans to connect world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Korean tech start-ups offer life beyond Samsung

Feb 23, 2015

As an engineering major at Seoul's Yonsei University, Yoon Ja-Young was perfectly poised to follow the secure, lucrative and socially prized career path long-favoured by South Korea's elite graduates.

Fresh nuclear leak detected at Fukushima plant

Feb 22, 2015

Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water to the sea, the plant's operator announced Sunday, highlighting difficulties in decommissioning the crippled plant.

Spacewalking astronauts route cable in 1st of 3 jobs

Feb 22, 2015

(AP)—Spacewalking astronauts routed more than 300 feet (90 meters) of cable outside the International Space Station on Saturday, tricky and tiring advance work for the arrival of new American-made crew ...

Recommended for you

Evolving robot brains

3 hours ago

Researchers are using the principles of Darwinian evolution to develop robot brains that can navigate mazes, identify and catch falling objects, and work as a group to determine in which order they should ...

Facebook fends off telecom firms' complaints

3 hours ago

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg fended off complaints on Monday that the hugely popular social network was getting a free ride out of telecom operators who host its service on smartphones.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.