PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Nanotechnology

Impact Center for Advancement of Mems/Nems Vlsi

Micro/nano-electro-mechanical system (MEMS/NEMS)-enabled devices have demonstrated the potential to revolutionize the architecture of modern communications, sensors, and signal processing systems. To date, their exploitation in commercial and military capabilities has been hindered by the lack of understanding of the fundamental multi-physics phenomena that govern MEMS functionality and impact its performance degradation, especially when subjected to operating conditions imposed by the heterogeneous, integrating microsystems environment. In order to address this requirement, Lehigh University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, The Georgia Institute of Technology, and their affiliated industrial partners have teamed up to pursue an aggressive and innovative fundamental and applied research effort through the establishment of an IMPACT Center for Advancement of MEMS/NEMS VLSI. The Center is being led by The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The mission and objectives of the Center are:

  • To develop and enhance the understanding of experimentally-observed, fundamental principles and processes governing MEMS/NEMS performance
  • To develop experiments and demonstrate validated multi-physics/multi-scale models to describe the thermo-electro-mechanical and fluidic interrelations and their impact on MEMS/NEMS device operation and performance
  • To experimentally demonstrate validated lifetime-predictive models for reliable device designs and system designs
  • To demonstrate order-reduced models and parameter extraction procedures for complex but realistic system-level designs
  • To demonstrate innovative design methodologies with hardware fabrication that take into consideration multi-physics/multi-scale physical principles and apply them to the design of reliable large-scale integrated MEMS/NEMS-based microsystems

The ultimate goal is to develop the physics-based knowledge needed to enhance the lifetime performance and functionality of highly integrated MEMS/NEMS-based micro- and nano-systems, and proliferate their insertion in military and commercial applications.