MEMS are becoming 3D and atomically precise

A.M. Shkel
University of California, Irvine,
United States

Keywords: radio frequency, RF, MEMS, switches


Microtechnology comes of age. Clearly, some significant advances have been made, and we see a footprint of the technology in an ever-growing consumer electronics market full of interactive products enabled by microtechnology. These products include, for example, accelerometers for gaming, gyros for auto safety, resonators for clocks, and more. The questions remain, however: Is the technology really on the level of what we consider to be precision sensing? Is making sensors small necessarily result in degradation of performance? Why do we need the precision of sensing for our daily life and what are the opportunities if we have the precision at our fingertips? I will talk about some of the recent developments in my research group toward precision sensing, including an overview of glassblowing technology for 3D wineglass shell gyroscopes, silicon origami-like 3D assembly techniques for solid-state and atomic MEMS, and the futuristic concept of the Ultimate Navigation Chip (uNavChip).