Functional Materials for Microsystems

Functional materials add new and exciting functionality to MEMS. The main focus is piezoelectric materials adding the ability of direct conversion between electrical energy and mechanical motion. This can be used both for sensing and actuating purposes. PZT (Lead Zirconate Titanate (Pb(Zr,Ti)O3)) is currently the dominating piezoelectric material when it comes to achieving high strains and forces at a given voltage. With a piezoelectric thin film as active element (piezoMEMS) the microsystem can fulfil many of the requirements of sensors and actuators in tomorrow´s smart systems, as a result of the large displacements, high sensing functionality and high energy densities that can be obtained, compared to pure Si-MEMS. SINTEF produces world-class PZT, which is a central component in the novel piston-type micromirror mentioned below.

Hannah Tofteberg