366.085 Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2024S, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

  • to explain the basics of bulk- and surface micromachining.
  • to explain the effect of sticking and to know about countermeasures.
  • to know different techniques for the realization and characterization of porous silicon and to evaluate characteristic features.
  • to explain various methods of molding and LIGA.
  • to explain the operation principle of commercially available MEMS gyroscopes as well as their integration and application in automobiles.
  • to calculate mode shapes and the resonance frequency spectrum of one-dimensional cantilevers.
  • to describe the principles of eigenmode analysis using the finite element method.
  • to describe the mathematical and physical basics of the piezoelectric effect.
  • to evaluate the properties of the piezoelectric materials discussed in the lecture and to assess their device related application potential.
  • to explain basic properties and characteristic features of MEMS resonators.
  • to present the different metrological aspects of as well as with resonators.
  • to describe concepts for piezoelectric MEMS resonator optimization such as tailored electrode design and Q control.
  • to explain the basics of acoustics and to explain and evaluate analog and digital sound reconstruction techniques.
  • to explain the operation principle and the design of electrostatic, electromagnetic and piezoelectric loudspeakers as well as to evaluate their corresponding advantages and disadvantages.
  • to explain qualitatively the operation principle of bistable membranes on the basis of the energy conservation law.
  • to evaluate different principles of MEMS pressure sensors.
  • to explain different readout methods of capacitive pressure sensors and to explain the pull-in effect.
  • to know about the specific technical challenges and solutions for the realization of high temperature pressure sensors.
  • to explain the basic properties of silicon carbide (SiC) including biocompatible properties.
  • to present technical challenges and solutions for the realization of silicon carbide (SiC) -based bio-sensors and actuators.

Subject of course

Silicon MEMS are regarded as a key enabling technology for the future digitalization of societies, thus being a decisive factor for the competitiveness of the European economy. The fields of application of microsystems include virtually every area of daily life and industry, ranging from e.g. the chemical engineering sector, via automotive, computer science and telecommunications to biotechnology and medical - in other words, MEMS devices and the corresponding systems are highly interdisciplinary!

Based on the content of the Bachelor lecture Sensors and Sensor Systems, the course provides in-depth knowledge in the field of MEMS components and systems. After a compact introduction, selected sensory components will be presented and discussed, such as angular rate sensors, microphones or pressure sensors for operation temperatures above 600°C. In addition, we will introduce simplified elastic models for the description of eigenmode dynamics of cantilever-type structures, one of the main building blocks in MEMS. Furthermore, we discuss the principles and limitations of eigenmode analysis when using the finite element method.

The second part focuses on microactuators, introducing basic principles and device concepts, based on e.g. the electrostatic or the piezoelectric transducer principle. On device level, this includes MEMS resonators and their mode-dependent resonant properties, as well as typical device concepts for analog and digital sound generation (MEMS loudspeakers).

The third lecture block focuses on micromachined, silicon carbide (SiC) based devices including biocompatibility aspects. This interesting features as well as applications in the field of SiC-based MEMS sensors and actuators are presented.

Teaching methods

  • Lecture and exercise - online
  • Lecture slides are available as handouts in TISS

Mode of examination


Additional information

Tour through the institute - only for participants of this VU!

Date: 25.06.2024
Details to be announced later.



Course dates

Tue10:00 - 12:0005.03.2024 - 25.06.2024Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) - Single appointments
Tue05.03.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue12.03.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue19.03.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue09.04.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue16.04.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue23.04.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue30.04.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue07.05.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue14.05.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue28.05.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue04.06.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue11.06.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue18.06.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture
Tue25.06.202410:00 - 12:00Seminarraum 366 Lecture

Examination modalities

Oral examination by appointment

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
19.02.2024 08:00 29.03.2024 22:59 29.03.2024 22:59


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 434 Materials Sciences Not specified
066 507 Telecommunications Mandatory2. Semester
066 508 Microelectronics and Photonics Mandatory2. Semester


Presentation slides will be available as handouts in TISS.