RF MEMS and CMOS-MEMS

MicroElectroMechanical Systems, MEMS, are systems based on a range of technologies in which tiny mechanical elements are made by “micromachining”. Both sensors and actuators can be created, as well as mechanical counterparts of electrical circuit elements such as micromechanical switches, resonators, mixers and filters with high performance – meaning that they feature low loss, increased selectivity and ultra high Q-factors. 

The group´s research is focused on designing RF MEMS components that can be effectively integrated with electronics (CMOS circuits) to reduce interconnection parasitics, boost miniaturization and increase the overall operation speed. This work has grown out of years of research in designing VLSI systems, and has benefited from cooperation with the neighbouring SINTEF MiNaLab.

 

Post-processing of CMOS chips is used to create mechanical parts (CMOS-MEMS) for monolithic integration. By using the CMOS multilayer metal-dielectricstack, laterally movable MEMS structures can be made. A maskless post-processing of the CMOS chips releases the mechanical parts, whereas the pure electronics are shielded. Combining mechanical components with micro and nanoelectronics on a single silicon chip enables the construction of sophisticated, composite, integrated systems.

(Oddvar Søråsen)