As integrated circuit technology has advanced over the past two decades, it has become evident that the bottleneck in applying microelectronics technology in many new areas lies not in the ability to realize sophisticated control algorithms at low cost, but rather in the ability to measure the parameters needed as inputs to those algorithms and then to couple the resulting control signals back into the non-electronic world. The present worldwide revolution in MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems), microsystems, and mechatronics represent a focusing of effort on these problems of the system periphery, with the goal of realizing the same sort of progress here that we have witnessed in microelectronics over the past 30 years. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are miniature devices (with micron size tolerances) that are created using various techniques including many similar to those used to manufacture integrated circuits, and are capable of performing many tasks and functions that involve mechanical, electrical, optical, fluidic, and other types of signals. MEMS and Integrated Microsystems are increasingly finding applications in many areas including automotive, health care, industrial processing, environmental monitoring, biomedical systems, chemical analysis, energy sources, telecommunication, aerospace systems, consumer appliances, and many others. Work in pressure sensors and accelerometers is giving way to a wide variety of additional devices, including gyroscopes, gas sensors, optical imagers, optical switches, flowmeters, inkjet print heads, high density disk drive heads, DNA analyzers, and many other system elements. Such devices are becoming increasingly system compatible, merging microelectronics and on?chip microactuators to allow self-testing, digital compensation, and digital bus compatibility. They are truly becoming microsystems on a chip.
This course aims to introduce the students in METU to these new developments and technology in the world. This course is intended for undergraduate seniors and first year-graduate students, and it is an introductory course designed for those students who are not familiar with MEMS, microfabrication technologies, integrated circuits, or non-electrical devices and systems. The course examines the technologies used for integrated sensors and microactuators, the principles used in their design, the factors limiting their present performance, and probable future trends in structure and performance.