Challenges for developing new MEMS and NEMS sensors

A. Rouzaud, J.P. Polizzi
CEA Léti,

Keywords: physical sensors, chemical gas sensors, integration in systems


Micro and Nano technologies are the foundation for the development of advanced sensors and actuators, and have led to a dramatic increase in the number of sensors and their applications. Microsystems (MEMS) are now a multibillion dollar industry, addressing all the main markets (consumer, automotive, industrial, medical, telecom, aerospace), and leading to high pressure on the costs. This paper will present the strategies developed at Léti to address three main challenges today encountered in the field of microsystems: -Efficiently manufacturing reliable physical sensors, by combining nano-sized and micro-sized structures to manufacture diverse reliable physical sensors (inertial sensors, pressure sensors and microphones) through a unique generic platform, which allows both size and cost reduction. -Identifying the most promising technologies for chemical sensors, by investigating solutions optimized for different applications and constraints. Solutions based on pure nano-sized structures for high accuracy multigas sensing, nanoporous materials for COV sensors, or low cost NDIR technologies for consumer markets will be reviewed. -Implementing these components into smart systems. A global system approach is needed in terms of integration and packaging to efficiently mix sensing, processing, communication and energy functions. Some basic concepts of integration at both design and hardware level will be presented.