Sensors are probably the most ubiquitous electronic devices today, present in almost everything that is touched by electricity - from touchscreen phones to cars. There is an unlimited variety of sensors and they can be classified based on their operation, application or structure.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are unique structural platforms on which sensors can be made for various applications. MEMS structures have dimensions that range from 1 to 100 micrometers (‘μm’), whereas NEMS structures are nanometer (‘nm’) sized. The basic structure of a MEMS or NEMS sensor can be fabricated using the same techniques that are employed in making silicon transistors, thus making them cost-effective to produce. At the same time, they are adaptable in their material and dimensional properties, thus making them suitable for tuning towards any specific application.
Here are some novel research stories from our lab in making, designing and tuning such structures.