Direct-Write Fabrication of Laminate Micro-electromechanical Systems
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) have many applications in fields like consumer electronics, healthcare, and energy. However, developing novel MEMS devices is generally hindered by the limitations of the state-of-the-art MEMS microfabrication processes such as high cost of manufacturing and long development time. In addition, the restriction in choice of fabrication materials severely limits the functionalities and performance of the fabricated MEM systems.
In this thesis, I present a novel approach to fabricate MEMS using multi-layer assembly of laser-micromachined laminates (MALL). First, I show using laser-micromachining to fabricated micro-structure laminae with small lateral-feature size and high aspect-ratio. Next, I show a multi-layer stack assembly of these micro-structure laminae to fabricate MEM systems. The proposed MALL method enables low-cost manufacturing and rapid development of MEMS, and permit greater selection of materials for their fabrication.
To demonstrate the application of MALL fabrication process, I show fabricating comb-drive actuator, high-current capacity MEM power-relay, and diamond-rotor for magic angle spinning (MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Furthermore, I show a factor of a hundred reduction in cost and development time and a factor of ten improvement in performance of above mentioned MEM systems.
Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Center for Bits and Atoms, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Carol Livermore, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University
Dr. Jeffrey H. Lang, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology