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Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are a branch of technology that creates small, mechanical devices that are powered by electricity. By integrating both mechanical and electrical components together, engineers and scientists are able to create incredibly small devices. These devices can range from micrometers to millimeters, and are used in a variety of settings.
Components of a Microelectromechanical System
In order to create a MEM, there are a number of different components required. First of all, manufacturers require different materials in order to create the various components. Silicon is a common material, used to create integrated circuits and a variety of devices. Relatively cheap and readily available, silicon is a popular material for manufacturers. Other materials that can be used include polymers, metals, and ceramics, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Another component of the MEM is the parts needed to perform different processes. One example of a process is deposition, which allows the device to deposit thin films of material onto a surface. Another common process is patterning, which allows the device to create a pattern on a material. Given the range of combinations between materials and processes, an endless variety of MEMS can be constructed.
Applications of Microelectromechanical Systems
Microelectromechanical systems can be used in a variety of applications where silicon chips used to administer mechanical and electronic devices are required. Generally, MEMS applications are distinguished by the purpose of application, such as sensor, actuator, and structure. However, many individuals find it easier to distinguish MEMS depending on the field of application and commercial use. In short, MEMS can been seen in an endless number of industries, used in a variety of settings.
One of the most common devices that have successfully integrated MEMS technology is accelerometers. An accelerometer is a type of device in a car that measures the acceleration rate of a car, detecting when the speed exceeds normal levels. MEMS technology has enhanced accelerometers, allowing them to deploy airbags in the case of car crashes.
Another common application of MEMS technology can be seen in mirror chips, used for projection screen TVs. Through the use of mirror chips, communication and entertainment industries are able to create more impressive screens with higher resolutions, enhancing user performance. Finally, another successful application of MEMS technology is observed through inkjet nozzles, commonly seen in printers. An inkjet printer is a type of printing device that utilizes an ink cartridge to dispense and create images. MEMS technology has been used to allow for smoother ink dispersion, allowing for greater use and efficiency.
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMs) are miniature devices that integrate electrical and mechanical elements into one system. Their sizes can vary from the nanometer level to the millimeter level; hence, a single system can contain from a few to millions of these components. Their applications are wide and varied, including locks, optical scanners, transducers, miniature robots, inkjet-printer cartridges, and more.
There are several resources, especially books, you can use to learn more about MEMs. One such book is An Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems Engineering. This book will give you basic knowhow on MEMs materials, development, and fabrication. You will also learn how to properly apply MEMs technology for your application to create unique functionality, enhance performance, and minimize cost.
Micro Electro Mechanical System Design is another resource. This book contains myriads of information essential to create an excellent MEMs design. It addresses key issues that the designer should take into account to develop systems correctly, timely, and according to budget. These issues include evaluation testing, packaging, implementation, and others.
You can also find a lot of information on journals released by organizations, such as the ASME. One of them is Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, which covers topics including microactuation, microsensing, materials, and construction of micro-electromechanical systems. For more information, use the links on this Business.com page.