MEMS are today already an indispensable part of our daily life. MEMS is an abbreviation of "micro-electro-mechanical systems".
Acceleration sensors increase the road safety, micromechanical pumps provide precise dosage of medicines, gyroscopes and tilt sensors offer motion controlled gaming entertainment. Microelectromechanical systems combine, on microscopic level, the areas of mechanics and electronics.
Application Areas at a Glance
Mobile communication, optics, medicine and biotechnology
Only through MEMS technology new innovative systems are economically feasible, such as oscillators and filters for use in the signal processing in mobile communication or optics (Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems MOEMS) as well as implantable insulin pumps, adjustable pacemaker or in vitro analysis systems for use in medicine and biotechnology.
Furthermore, with BioMEMS preliminary studies on the efficacy of drugs, on-site analyses (lab-on-a-chip) or vitality monitoring can be conducted. The field of applications for MEMS technologies has no boundaries. Incessantly new applications are discovered.
Classic MEMS acceleration sensors and gyroscopes work according to the spring-mass system (comb drive) or the tuning fork principle. The acceleration is detected by the movement of the inertial mass. The tuning fork principle allows that the vibrations of comb structures are detected by sensors. The integrated processing of electro-mechanical signals detected in the sensor itself allows the manufacturing of intelligent sensors, the so-called smart sensors. These sensors undertake more and more functions in components which ever-decrease in their size.
Intelligent thermal sensors used in smart-home systems, detect whether people are present and activate the lighting in the room. These systems can also be extended to air conditioning, heating and security systems and thus make their contribution to the environmentally conscious and economical use of energy resources.
Instrumentation, consumer electronics etc.
MEMS make the use of electronic equipment in the areas of aerospace for navigation, safety, instrumentation, automotive, medicine and biotechnology as well as in sports, logistics and entertainment (consumer electronics) significantly smarter.