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Welcome to ECE 215: Introduction to MEMS

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Mona E. Zaghloul
Room 620 Phillips Hall
Phone: 202 994-3772, Fax: 202 994-0227


In TOMP309, on Monday's from 6:10pm-8:40pm

Course Requirement

Students are required to design MEMS device, using CAD tools, and simulate the design and realize the layout of the design in the chosen technology. The students will report on their project through final project report and oral presentation. TWO students are the maximum number of students that are allowed to work on one project. Students are encouraged to design novel devices, which could be fabricated through MEMS foundries. The fabricated device may be measured in the laboratory and may be published in the literature. The proposed MEMS devices are not limited to specific area. Students are required to submit a Proposal of their chosen project by October 18 (written TWO pages). Final Project Oral and written presentation is due on Dec. 6, 2005.


ECE 126 - VLSI Design and Simulation, or permission of the instructor.


In addition to class notes which are given every week, the following texts are recommended:

  1. G. Kovacs, Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook, McGraw-hill, 1998.
  2. S. Senturia: Microsystems Design, Kluwer publications, 2001

Course Outline and Schedule

September 6, 2005: Introduction to MEMS and Their Applications

Introduction to the field of Micromachined sensors and actuators .List of Course requirement. Introduction to the field and overview of the market and important applications will be discussed. Technology scaling issues. Classes of MEMS. Introducing various MEMS Computer resources at GWU.


September 13, 2005: Overview of IC Fabrication Technology

Overview of standard IC processing. CMOS technology fabricating steps
Familiarization with layout CAD tools, different layers and their notation.
Introduction to Bulk Fabrications of MEMS.

CAD tools at GWU. Start learning the Coventor Ware tutorials.

September 20, 2005: Bulk Micromachining

Bulk micromachining is introduced that include wet and dry etch, isotropic and anisotropy etching procedures. Other techniques for bulk micromachining will be discussed. Examples of the design
Introduction to the design procedures for MEMS devices. Modeling and analytical descriptions of MEMS devices, solution of the system equations will be discussed. Use of other CAD tools will be introduced.

Continue read Coventor Tutorial. Demo of MEMS CAD tools


September 27, 2005: Introduction to Surface Micromachining

Micromachined terms, general properties of common semiconductors are discussed. Various techniques for surface micromachining will be discussed that include Thin-Film processes, electrodeposition, and sacrificial processes. List of Foundries of MEMS. Technology we will use.

Assignment #1

October 4, 2005: Mechanics of Materials and Energy Convergence

Introduction to Material Properties. Examples of energy conversion methods. Discussions of Elasticity, piezoelectricity, and piezoresisitive properties. Examples of devices will be discussed.


October 11, 2005: Examples of Mechanical Microsystems

Selective examples of the design of mechanical transducers, and of mechanical sensors
Will be introduced Mechanical resonators, accelerometers

Assignment #2

DISCUSS with the Instructor ideas for projects

October 18, 2005: Examples of Mechanical Microsystems (cont.)

Selective examples of the design of mechanical transducers, and of mechanical sensors will be introduced. Introduction to mechanical actuation, static actuators. Comb Derive design, RF-Switch


START project design


October 25, 2005: Electrostatic Actuation and Capacitive position sensing

Examples of capacitive sensing, circuits’ requirement for integration. Process Integration.

November 1, 2005: Example of Thermal Microsystems

Selective examples of temperature sensors and their design will be introduced. Thermal Microsystems will be discussed. Thermopiles devices.

Assignment #3

November 8, 2005: Examples of Smart Sensors

Integrated circuits with MEMS devices. Noise issues. Brief introduction to BioMEMS, and Microfluidic.

Selective examples of temperature sensors and their design will be discussed.


November 15, 2005: Integration Packaging and Assembly

Problems with process Integrations. MEMS devices packaging and assembly. Examples

November 22, 2005:

PROJECT REVIEW (Working with individual Groups)

November 29, 2005:


PROJECT REVIEW (Working with individual Groups)

December 6, 2005: Projects Are DUE

Oral presentation each student will present his/her project to the Class. Final Project Report is Due

Final Exam will be posted

Exam is Open Book and Open Notes.


Project 50%
Final Exam 30%
Assignments 20%



University Policy on Cheating and Plagiarism

It is imperative that all graded assignments that you turn in during the course reflect your own understanding of the material. Copying answers from another person impedes the learning process and compromises your integrity. Students are encouraged to discuss homework problems and laboratory assignments with others, but submitted solutions must involve only an individualís effort. Any student who copies from another studentís homework, quiz, exam, report, etc., or any student who knowingly allows another student to copy his or her work, or any student who submits someone elseís work as his or her own, will be deemed guilty of cheating. Cheating is an extremely serious offense. Each student is expected to have read and understood the GWU Code of Academic Integrity (

World-Wide Web Usage

Handouts, assignments, solutions, and reference materials (including class notes) will be available on this website. Important dates and the class reading list are available in the Syllabus section.

Warning: These materials are not a substitute for attending class regularly. Class discussions often cover finer points of the material not included in the notes. You are responsible for all material covered in the class whether or not it appears on the Web.

George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science Dept. of Electical and Computer Engineering ECE 231 Homepage