Fabrication of MEMS Pressure Sensor on thin film membrane
Suchitav Khadanga
Millimeter Wave Devices Laboratory
Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute
Pilani 333031, India
A generalized Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) consists of mechanical components, sensors, actuators and integrated circuit all integrated in the same environment. The evolution of MEMS has depended largely on the advancement in microfabrication technology for the development of solid state sensors and actuators.
Micro electromechanical Systems (MEMS) offer a powerful new technology for both optical and RF systems. The integration of optics and MEMS has created a new class of micro-opto-electro-mechanical devices and integrated circuits that are smaller, faster, more accurate, more rugged, and consume less power than macro scale devices. MEMS allows moveable micro-mechanical parts to be integrated with micro-optical elements and 3-D structures, enabling miniaturized free-space optical systems to be mass-produced at low cost by batch fabrication processes. Since the physical effect caused by mechanical movement is usually larger than conventional electro-optic or free-carrier effects, very efficient light modulators, switches, broadly tunable semiconductor lasers, detectors, and filters can be realized with the optical MEMS technology. Applications of optical MEMS include fiber optic switches, optical crossconnect, projection and headmount display, optical data storage, printing, optical scanners, modulators, fiber optic sensors, and packaging of optoelectronic components.
In the area of microwave/wireless communication, switches are widely used in RF/microwave systems and subsystems for signal routing, impedance matching, and amplifier gain adjustment. Traditional mechanical switches provide excellent electrical isolation and low contact resistance, yet they are heavy, bulky, and power hungry for switching control. Conventional solid state switches are small in size but have significant insertion loss (typically 1 dB) and poor RF isolation (typically -30 dB). So the design, fabrication, and performance of a MEMS switch that can handle broadband microwave signals while maintaining a minimal insertion loss and excellent electrical isolation. This MEMS switch uses a suspended silicon dioxide micro-beam as the cantilever arm, a platinum-to-gold electrical contact, and electrostatic actuation as the switching mechanism. Compared to its semiconductor counterparts, the MEMS switch is superior in both performance and power consumption. Some of the other MEMS application include pressure sensors, accelerometers, micro valves, electromechanical switches and relays, inkjet nozzles, gyroscopes, micro manipulators and connectors, micro motors , AFM(Atomic Force Microscopy) tips and optical components like lenses, gratings, mirrors and tunable waveguides. The fabrication of these micro mechanical parts involves precise isotropic and anisotropic silicon etching, high aspect ratio lithography, silicon bonding techniques (Fusion bonding and Anodic bonding), plating, thin film deposition and standard I.C fabrication steps. Here one such MEMS component Pressure sensor is described. This includes MEMS overview, application area and fabrication process of MEMS pressure sensor. This work has done in Millimeter Wave Devices Laboratory of Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, Pilani. fabrication-of-mems-pressure-sensor-on-thin-film-membrane

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