MEMS or Micro-electro-mechanical Systems technology is characterized by the electro-mechanical and miniaturized mechanical elements in its general form. These elements are made by using the micro fabrication technology. The critical MEMS physical forms of dimension differ from one micron to several millimeters from different spectrum. Similarly, the MEMS devices also vary from the simple structures to extraordinarily complex systems with having no elements of moving to electro-mechanical systems respectively. The MEMS technology is defined in various ways in various parts of the world. The basic criteria of MEMS technology is the moving of elements in the mechanical functions. In the United States, this technology is simply called as MEMS, while in many parts, it is known as ‘Microsystems Technology’ or ‘Micro-machined Devices’. |
Accelerometers in MEMS technology Although accelerometers are basically used in this technology as the leading systems, there are other similar devices deserves the same position like gyroscopes. With regards to the markets of automatic crash sensors of high volume, there are the markets present of seismic sensing elements of high resolution and sensors of high-g. In this way, accelerometers are considered to be the starts of MEMS technology with millions of sales each year automobile industry. The devices that are powered by integral electronic elements are capable of doing self-testing and the cost is far less expensive than old accelerometers.
MEMS include some underlying physical mechanisms like ferroelectric, optical, piezoelectric, piezo-resistive, electromagnetic and tunneling. In this way, the result availed can be digital, analog or ratio-metric to the voltage supply or any other types of moderation of pulse. The sensors are always convenient that comes with digital output. In this way, the data can be transmitted with no risk of noise degradation. The sensing element displacement is a very important part of the process of sensing. This results in maintaining the robust inverse bonding between the bandwidth and sensitivity for any sensor class. In general way, the displacement is a very essential part of a sensing component in the process of sensing.
Components of MEMS In general, the MEMS technology is derived basically in four components – Micro-Sensors, Micro-Actuators, Micro-Electronics and Micro-Structures. Micro-Sensors and Micro-Actuators are very notable components that are also considered as ‘transducers’ that are basically known to transform energy from one to another form. In terms of micro-sensors, the component typically transforms a mechanical signal which is measured automatically into an electronic signal.
The researchers and the developers of MEMS Technology have been succeed in demonstrating large number of sensors in an extraordinarily way over the past several decades. They have demonstrated in every modality like magnetic fields, chemical species, temperature, pressure, inertial forces, radiation and much more. There are many micro-machined sensors are demonstrating performances in a remarkable way for improving the micro-scale counterparts. Not just the performance is exceptional of machining techniques; the pressure sensors are using the methods of exceptional leverages. Similarly this is not only possible to use the fabrication techniques at production costs per level; this makes the operator to avail various other benefits.
In recent years, the researchers and developers of MEMS have found the large number of micro-actuators such as micro-valves in order to control flows of liquid and gas, optical switches and the mirrors in order to modulate and redirect light beams. Surprisingly, they can provide a great effect on the microscale level despite of having microactuators is small extremely. These actuators of small size can dramatically perform to provide extraordinary effects that are far much larger than its size. These microminiaturized devices are attached in the aircrafts in the form of leading airfoils edge with some micro-actuators.
Since more complex integration levels are said to be the next generation of MEMS technology, the current and robust micro-sensors are more discrete and modest. They are typically integrated with micro-actuators and electronics. But nonetheless, the methods of MEMS fabrication is more advanced which promises you to give more freedom in any type of micro-sensor. In this way, any kind of micro-actuator can easily be added with micro-electronics, nanotechnology, photonics and more. This gives great freedom of design with its compact size.
All in all, the main aim behind the development of MEMS technology is to combine micro-sensors, micro-actuators, and micro-electronics onto a small and singular microchip which is estimated to become the next-gen technological advancement. This technological advancement will make the development of smart products easy with computing ability augmentation of micro-electronics and making perception of capabilities of micro-actuators and micro-sensors. The integrated and smart micro-electronic circuits are said to be the ‘processor’ of a system. In this way, MEMS technology plays a vital role in augmenting the capability of decision-making by acting like ‘arms’ and ‘eyes’ that will make micro-systems capable to control and sense the environment. This measures the thermal, mechanical, biological, optical, chemical and magnetic phenomena in order to avail the information with the environments.
On the other side, nanotechnology is a great ability at the molecular and atomic level to manipulate something extravagant at the level of nano-dimensional scale. Typically in implementation, there are two important approaches – the bottom-up and the top-down. In the approach of top-down, the structures and the devices are designed with using many techniques that are basically used in MEMS technology. The only condition is that they should be designed smaller in size. In the bottom-up approach, the growth, deposition and self-assembly technologies are involved. This gives benefits of MEMS technologies and other self-assembly technologies.
In Conclusion Though MEMS and Nanotechnology are named as different technologies, but the difference is not cleared in reality. In reality, they both are based on each other typically. The famous Scanning Tunneling-up Microscope (STM) is also a MEMS device is helpful to sense the atoms and molecules individually on a scale of nanometer. This is the first thing which proves MEMS and nanotechnology are depending upon each other. The Atomic Force Molecule (AFM) is also an MEMS device because this is helpful to manipulate also the positioning and placements of the molecules and atoms individually on the surface.
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