30.113 Design and Fabrication of Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)

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This course introduces design and fabrication of MEMS, including topics of material properties, micro-fabrication technologies, and basic principles of MEMS sensors and actuators, and applications. The first half term covers basic microfabrication techniques and process flow, MEMS materials and their properties, structural behavior and packaging. The second half term covers different sensing and actuating working principles (i.e. electrostatic, piezoelectric, piezoresistive, thermalcapacitive, microfluidics, etc.), design and analysis. A variety of MEMS device are analyzed including inertial sensors, pressure sensors, gyroscope, optical MEMS, and bioMEMS. In addition, throughout the course, a number of real-world applications are introduced and discussed. Hands-on lab sessions in cleanroom are significant components.


Course Lead/Main Instructor


The aims of this course are to present a comprehensive introduction to the broad field of MEMS including design principles, fabrication techniques and applications. Design and lab exercises are the significant components of the course, including simulation using Coventorware and hands-on fabrications in cleanroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Familiar with the fundamentals, fabrication process and applications of MEMS
  • Understand the basic principles of MEMS sensors and actuators (mechanical, electrical, piezoresistive, piezoelectric, thermal, microfluidic)
  • Understand the design considerations of basic MEMS sensors and actuators
  • Design a basic MEMS sensor and actuator device, such as an inertia sensor, and a pressure sensor
  • Design the process flow of a basic MEMS device, such as an inertia sensor (accelerometer), given a fabrication process description.
  • Understand the design constrains and the affect factors, i.e. power, speed, noise, etc.
  • Understand and familiar with the fabrication process through the hands-on activities.

Measurable Outcomes

  • Design a basic MEMS device, such as a cantilever based actuator, pressure sensor, and accelerometer
  • Design the fabrication process of a MEMS device, such as a capacitive pressure sensor or an inertia sensor
  • Fabrication of a MEMS device, such as cantilever based actuator
  • Determine the fundamental trade-offs in a given basic MEMS device, and design with the suitable principles, materials, and structures
  • Estimate key specification and performance issues in a given MEMS device, such as power, speed, cost, process, and etc.


This course includes cohort based learning (presentation, demo, videos), case problem solving, design session, hands-on lab activities in cleanroom, homework, teamwork, and seminars conducted by speakers from industry.

Text & References

Foundations of MEMS by Chang Liu, Pearson 2nd edition, 2012.

Recommended for reading

  1. Microsystem Design by S. D. Senturia, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.
    (Available as eBook: http://link.springer.com.library.sutd.edu.sg:2048/book/10.1007/b117574)
  2. MEMS materials and processes handbook edited by R. Ghodssi and P. Lin, Springer 2011.
    (Available as eBook: http://link.springer.com.library.sutd.edu.sg:2048/book/10.1007/978-0-387-47318-5)






Class participation


Device fabrication


Mid-term exam


Final Exam



Students are expected to come on time for all classes and lab sessions. Late submissions of assignments will not be graded.