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Inkjet Technology for Digital Fabrication by Graham D. Martin, Ian M. Hutchings

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Chapter 6

Manufacturing of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

David B. Wallace

MicroFab Technologies, Inc., USA

6.1 Introduction

Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication technology was developed initially in the 1980s with the goal of integrating electro-mechanical sensors and actuators with their conditioning electronics. By adding silicon micromachining and deposition of metals and oxides to silicon-based analog integrated circuit (IC) fabrication technology, very small electro-mechanical sensors and actuators could be fabricated at very low cost and in high volume (Kuehnel and Sherman, 1994; Tseng et al., 2000). In addition, these MEMS-based devices were more robust and reliable than their larger conventional counterparts. MEMS-based accelerometers are the most widely used MEMS products. They have enabled the use of airbags in automobiles and can currently be found in cell phones, computers, cameras, golf clubs, and skis. MEMS-based pressure transducers have also been in widespread use for decades, primarily in automobiles, airplanes, process control equipment, and disposable biomedical sensors.

In most applications, the benefits of a high degree of system integration are readily apparent. The success of MEMS-based accelerometers and pressure sensors, along with the general drive toward small, low-cost, high-volume products, has led to an explosion of both process technologies that can be used in MEMS fabrication and applications targeted by these process technologies. ...

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