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What are MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems)?

 

MEMS are Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems that are made using microfabrication technologies. These devices can range in size from less then one micro to several millimetres and vary in complexity from very simple to extremely sophisticated mechanical moving systems with integrated electronics. The field of MEMS involves the interaction between the environment and electrical signals, via small (micron scale) devices. The acronym MEMS is used predominantly in the USA. Equivalent terms include Microengineering and Microsystems, the latter being used predominantly in Europe.

MEMS devices include: sensors, actuators, motors, pumps and microelectronics.

Many MEMS devices are based on silicon and the miniaturisation of currently accepted devices. As a result, the processing of Si at the micron level is extremely critical and takes advantage of many of the (Si) wafer processing capabilities developed for integrated circuits. Applications of this technology have been in the marketplace for many years.

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