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ME 660 Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Design

Catalog Description

ME 660 Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Design (3). Prerequisites: Graduate/professional standing or permission of instructor. Working and design principles of existing microsystems, application of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer to microsystems, scaling laws, and materials used in MEMS devices. Application-specific criteria supporting the need for miniaturization.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Thermodynamics
  2. Advanced fluid mechanics
  3. Advanced mechanics of materials
  4. Engineering measurements


Tai-Ran Hsu, MEMS & Microsystems: Design and Manufacture, First Edition, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2002.


  1. Readings from current technical literature in the area of MEMS.
  2. M. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication, First Edition, CRC Press, 1997.


R.S. Keynton, Associate Professor of Bioengineering.

Course Objectives

  1. Identify and describe the operational principles of common microsystems.
  2. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of current microsystems technology.
  3. Define the processing steps for fabricating a microsystems.
  4. Establish device-testing protocol to evaluate transducer performance.
  5. Implement mechanical engineering principles to design microsystems.


  1. Principles of operation of acoustic, chemical, optical, thermal and mechanical sensors and actuators (3 classes)
  2. Principles of operation and control of microfluidic devices (8 classes)
  3. Application of solid mechanics to microsystems design (6 classes)
  4. Heat transfer on the microscale (6 classes)
  5. Scaling laws for miniaturization (3 classes)
  6. MEMS materials (4 classes)
  7. MEMS packaging (3 classes)
  8. Review and critique over 20 journal articles related to microsystems development (7 classes)
  9. Examinations (2 classes and 2½ hours)

Computer Use

PC/Unix-based software packages will be used in support of course design activities.

Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions/week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving. Evaluation Course grade is based upon homework, midterm examinations, a design project, and a journal article review. Design Project Each student will be assigned to a team and the team will design a microdevice applying knowledge in microsystems acquired in the course. Each team will be required to submit a written report and give a formal oral presentation on their design. Journal Article Review Each student will retrieve, review and critique a journal article related to microsystems and microtechnology. Each student is required to formally present the critique to the class.

Professional Component Contribution

Engineering science: 0 credits, engineering design: 3 credits.

Relationship to Program Objectives

This course supports Mechanical Engineering program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering. • The ability to communicate effectively.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by R.S. Keynton, June 2006

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