Course content, detailed activities, course material

The course consists of 4 phases:

  1. Introductory lectures on microsystems, microsystem actuators, the basic fabrication processes, turotials to the design software. The dates for the lectures 2 and 3 will be decided at the first meeting. During the last meeting, the student groups will be finalized. (week 1)
    Course material: Lecture notes, general background information on microsystem technology, research papers.
  2. Design work, framed by weekly progress meetings with the course responsible and his teaching assistants. The students get a real-world task description (for instance in 2011 they had to design a micro-switch for an optical communication network; in 2012 they had to design a microgripper intended for cell manipulation) and have to conceptualize and design building blocks and finally the complete system of a microdevice. The students will learn how to verify their ideas with finite-element-modelling (FEM) simulation tools, and implement their final designs, considering electrical, mechanical, and fabrication feasibiliy, in a CAD layout programme which they will learn how to use during the course. The students must keep the tape-in deadline (design delivery). The simulation results and design expectations will be summarized in an intermediate report, which will be used to compare the simulated to the measured performance in the end of the project. The student groups are composed of either 2 or 3 members (weeks 2-4)
    Course material: Tutorials on the simulation tools, material from phase 1.
  3. Fabrication work: The students will fabricate their own devices in a state-of-the-art 200-mm wafer semiconductor clean-room laboratory, utilizing photo-lithography, plasma etching, deep silicon etching, wet-etching, critical-point drying, metal evaporation processes. Semiconductor device characterization tools, such as SEM (scanning-electron microscopy), surface profilometer, and white-light interferometry will be utilized to do some basic material and process characterization. (weeks 5-6)
    Course material: Fabrication lab manual, fabrication lecture notes from phase 1.
  4. Device characterization: The students will measure their microsystem device performance on a probestation measurement setup. The students should analyse failure mechanisms, compare the device performance to the expectations of the simulations, and to propose design improvements for a potential next development cycle. (weeks 6-7)
    Course material: Evaluation lab manual.

Week 8 is for report writing and the preparation of the final presentation. The final presentation concludes the course. Every year, we give a Best Movie Award to the student group who makes the best 3-minutes movie presenting their project and their results.

Course material: The course material, in particular lecture notes, lab manuals, software tutorials, background information on MEMS, etc., for the current academic year click at the items of the respective year in the menu to the right. Most items are only visible if you are logged-in and registered to this course.

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