Sep 29

MEMS Production Techniques

MEMS are built using materials that are not unlike those of a semiconductor. The microscopic machines require layers of materials that are built up, in precise patterns, to relay information or power from source to another. Using manufacturing techniques like plasma-enhanced chemical vapor distribution, materials can be arranged in precise patterns for carrying out complex operations.


PECVD is part of the process that allows manufacturers to design objects within 100 micrometers. Gases are released onto a substrate, where they “grow” by layers as the gasses cool and adhere to one another. Essentially, materials are broken down and built up by layer. One of the methods used is sputtering, which uses a spray pattern not unlike a can of spray paint.


The precise patterns used to create MEMS are only possible thanks to a process using thin film deposition. First, the object is coated in a lightly radioactive substance. This could be a beam of light, for instance. The exposed parts would differ from those that were not exposed, and then a machine deposits thin layers of materials onto the parts that light as touched.


Extreme precision makes it possible to create smaller mechanisms to handle a variety of everyday tasks in the house. MEMS help to gauge the stability of something, like a level, so you’ll often find them in video game and cell phone applications that display according to the orientation of the device.

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