The Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory, located in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at Carnegie Mellon University, is a facility for design, analysis, modeling, fabrication, and characterization of MEMS devices. The lab was renovated in April 1999 and contains about 900 square feet of cumulative lab space. Current projects address the development of design tools and fabrication for integrated MEMS, sensors for biomedical and biochemical applications, and technologies for RF and wireless chips.

The MEMS group has access to several network-connected workstations and to several CAD tools maintained by ECE including Cadence electronic design tools (with over 100 “seats” available), Synopsys synthesis tools, Saber, MATLAB, Simulink, HSPICE, and Mathematica. Numerical simulators available for MEMS design include CoventorWare (self-consistent electromechanical), Ansoft Maxwell (electrostatic), ABAQUS (mechanical), CFDRC-ACE+ (fluidic), and Femlab (multi-domain). Researchers in the MEMS Laboratory have personal workstations for design. Several more powerful computer servers owned and maintained by the Center for Silicon System Implementation (CSSI) within the ECE Department are used for running computationally intensive simulations. All workstations are connected through various networks, including local (ECE), CMU campus-wide, the Internet, and since 1999 to the DoD Gb/s Supernet. 

The MEMS Characterization Lab (Hamerschlag Hall 1208/1210/1212) has over ten lab stations with ample room to conduct custom experiments. The lab houses a Wentworth MP-901 probestation with six precision manipulators, an MIT microvision system with Mirau interferometry, a WYKO NT 3300 optical profiler, Kodak megapixel camera, a 6’x4’ optical isolation table, a custom vacuum device testbed, Bruel & Kjaer shaker table, Ideal Aerosmith rate table, WestBond semi-automatic wire bonder, and numerous electronic test equipment for MEMS device testing. PCs are connected for LabView instrument control, video frame grabbing and video overlay. Four additional Karl-Suss probestations with accompanying instrumentation are located in the MEMS Education Lab and are also available for research use.

The MEMS Chemistry Lab (Hamerschlag Hall 1214/1216), located next to the characterization area, houses a XACTIX XeF2 silicon etcher, Kurt Lesker sputtering system, Indel sputtering/evaporation system, Si oxidation furnace, Dektak profilometer, resist spinner, UV flood exposure unit, ellipsometer and wet chemical benches. In January 2003, the lab installed a Heidelberg Instruments DWL66 laser photolithography system for direct-write resist exposure down to 0.8 µm features. The system includes gray-scale exposure for 3D feature patterning and backside alignment.

A full suite of RF characterization equipment is housed in the RF-MEMS Laboratory Annex (Roberts Hall 324). The equipment is integrated into a computer-controlled system housing a Cascade Microtech Summit 6" Semiautomatic pico-guarded thermal probe station (with four RF probe positioners), Agilent E4440 PSA 26.5 GHz Spectrum Analyzer, E8364A PNA 50 GHz Microwave Network Analyzer, E8251 PSG-A 20 GHz Modulated Microwave Signal Generator, E8241 PSG-L 20 GHz High-Power Microwave Signal Generator, and E4419B Dual Power Meter.

The MEMS Lab has access to the Carnegie Mellon Nanofabrication Facility (Hamerschlag Hall F-Level), which includes a 4,000 square foot cleanroom, three thin film labs, and a photo reduction darkroom. Process equipment includes a STS deep silicon ICP reactive-ion etcher, Plasma Therm 790 reactive-ion etcher, fourteen vacuum deposition systems, Karl-Suss MJB3 and MA56 aligners, GCA 4800 projection mask aligners, barrel ethers, reactive-ion etcher, ion beam miller and deposition systems, and a Micrion 2500 5-nm focused-ion beam etching and deposition system.

The Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department at CMU maintains a state-of-the-art Facility in Electron Microscopy that is operated for the benefit of the university community at large. This facility houses three transmission electron microscopes (TEM), a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), two scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and extensive specimen preparation tools. The facility provides equipment and services to faculty, staff and graduate students engaged in a wide variety of research program. The MSE Department also maintains an X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory, where a wide variety of x-ray diffraction measurements are obtained from three Rigaku x-ray generators. The accessories available with these machines enable pole figure texture analysis, thin film analysis, high and low temperature studies, stress measurements, and x-ray topography. A Philips high resolution diffractometer produces fine rocking curves and reciprocal space maps for epitaxial films and single crystals. Two Siemens x-ray generators provide Laue photography and Seeman-Bohlin geometry. Enhancing the above equipment is a powerful array of crystallographic software.

The Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Laboratory

Clean Room Facility MSE (Materials Science and Engineering) Facilities