Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New measurement tool is on target for the fast-growing MEMS industry

Date:
May 1, 2013
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
As markets for miniature, hybrid machines known as MEMS grow and diversify, researchers have introduced a long-awaited measurement tool that will help growing numbers of device designers, manufacturers and customers to see eye to eye on eight dimensional and material property measurements that are key to device performance.

New NIST Reference Materials for MEMS devices are micromachined and further processed to contain miniature cantilevers, beams, stair-like step heights, microscale rulers and test structures for measuring surface-layer thickness. On the left is RM 8096, which was manufactured with an integrated circuit process; on the left is RM 8097, made with a MEMS process.
Credit: NIST

As markets for miniature, hybrid machines known as MEMS grow and diversify, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has introduced a long-awaited measurement tool that will help growing numbers of device designers, manufacturers and customers to see eye to eye on eight dimensional and material property measurements that are key to device performance.

The NIST-developed test chips (Reference Materials 8096 and 8097) are quality assurance tools that enable accurate, reliable comparisons of measurements on MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) devices made with different equipment and by different labs or companies. These capabilities will make it easier to characterize and troubleshoot processes, calibrate instruments and communicate among partners.

MEMS were once considered a stepchild of the semiconductor industry and largely confined to automotive uses -- primarily as accelerometers in airbag systems. But the devices have branched out into an array of applications, especially in consumer electronics markets. A high-end smart phone, for example, contains about 10 such devices, including microphones, accelerometers and gyroscopes. MEMS devices also are important components of tablet computers, game consoles, lab-on-a-chip diagnostic systems, displays and implantable medical devices.

Global MEMS industry revenues are projected to grow from about $10 billion in 2011 to $21 billion in 2017, according to the June 2012 forecast by the technology consulting firm Yole Dιveloppement.

Widely used reference materials and standardized measurement methods can help to improve process efficiency and to reduce the cost and time devoted to testing and inspecting MEMS devices. Industry-accepted measurements also can promote greater interoperability among devices made by different manufacturers.

The new NIST reference materials are micromachined and further processed to contain miniature cantilevers, beams, stair-like step heights, microscale rulers and test structures for measuring surface-layer thickness. Specifically, the NIST test chips can be used to check customer conformity with internationally established standards for measuring elasticity (Young's modulus), residual strain (and stress), strain (and stress) gradient, as well as thickness, step height and length. All dimensional and material-property measurements that NIST used to characterize the reference devices conform with SEMI and ASTM International standard test methods. These standard methods are consensus best practices developed by industry committees.

"Reference materials and best-practice test methods provide industry-wide benefits," explains NIST electronics engineer Janet Cassard. "Typically, these tools are prohibitively expensive for a single company to develop on its own. We will work with the MEMS community to facilitate widespread adoption and consistent usage of these standard test methods and reference materials."

One test chip (RM 8096) is manufactured in an integrated circuit (IC) process; the other (RM 8097) in a MEMS process. The test chips are supported by a user's guide, data analysis sheets for each measurement, and other materials accessible via the NIST Data Gateway with the keyword "MEMS Calculator."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "New measurement tool is on target for the fast-growing MEMS industry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501145148.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2013, May 1). New measurement tool is on target for the fast-growing MEMS industry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501145148.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "New measurement tool is on target for the fast-growing MEMS industry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501145148.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins