MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 381

Introduction to Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

Professor Horacio D. Espinosa
Email: espinosa@northwestern.edu, Tel: 7-5989, Office: L286

Fall 2011



MEMS is an emerging technology that is attracting significant attention in the engineering, chemistry and biology communities. The NSF (National Science Foundation) and NIH (National Institute of Health) consider MEMS one of the main research areas of the decade. MEMS were successfully utilized in breakthrough applications, such as accelerometers for air bag deployment in automobiles, and digital mirrors for high-resolution display.

What will you learn in this class?

  • Microfabrication techniques
  • Thin film material properties (constitutive laws and size effects)
  • Mechanical behavior of microstructures
  • Sensing and actuation of mechanical, optical, microfluidic devices
  • Case studies: accelerometers, RF-switches, micro-engines, digital mirrors, and fluidic systems

Homework will be assigned on a regular basis. There is a mid-term exam and final project. No prerequisite.

Digital Micro-Mirror



Micro-Engine