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MEMS AND NEMS

THE PHYSICS OF THE MICROWORLD IS DOMINATED BY SURFACE


EFFECTS.

RATIO OF SURFACE AREA TO THE VOLUME >> 1

FRICTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN INERTIA,


MOLECULAR ATTRACTIONS EXCEED RESTORING FORCES,
ELECTROSTATIC FORCES BECOME LARGE.

DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS AND SCALING

PROBLEMS OF INTEREST TO MEMS AND NEMS RESEARCHERS ARE


COUPLED DOMAIN PROBLEMS.
THE DESIGN OF A MICROSCALE THERMAL ANEMOMETER COUPLES
HEAT TRANSFER,
ELECTROSTATICS,
FLUID DYNAMICS.
THE MAIN STUMBLING BLOCK TO SUCCESSFUL PREDICTION OF
SUCH SYSTEMS IS NOT DETERMINING WHAT TO PUT IN, BUT
DETERMINING WHAT TO LEAVE OUT.
ANSWER:
NON-DIMENSIONALIZE
SCALING

PROJECTILE PROBLEM
d2y / d2 = - (1 + y)-2
WITH INITIAL CONDITIONS:
y(0) = 0, dy(0) / d = 1
WHERE:
y = gx / v2, = gt / v, = v2 / gR
SOLUTION:
y(; )

FIND THE TIME FOR THE OBJECT TO REACH MAXIMUM HEIGHT,


m. THIS OCCURS WHEN dy / d = 0, AND
m = f()

SAY

RANGE OF HUMAN SENSORY

LENGTH

(0.1 mm - 10 m)

FIVE ORDERS

TIME

(0.3 sec - 1 year)

NINE ORDERS

TEMPERATURE

(230 K - 1200 K)

ONE ORDER

MAGNETIC FIELD

NO SENSORY EXPERIENCE

HOW THE QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTCS OF SOME PHYSICAL


PHENOMENA CHANGE AS LENGTH SCALES DECREASE?

HOW PARTICULAR QUANTITY CHANGES WITH RESPECT TO A


CHARACTERISTIC LENGTH?

SCALING LAW
VISCOSITY OF FLUIDS
REYNOLDS NUMBER Re = va /
<< 1 - LAMINAR FLOW OR CREEPING FLOW
Re =
>> 1 - TURBULENT FLOW
dynamic viscosity, a radius, v velocity, density, T time
SUPPOSE

v = a / T

THEN

Re = a2, ( - CONSTANTS)

FOR A SMALL ENOUGH SPHERE THE FLOW WILL ALWAYS BE LAMINAR


(Re << 1).

SPHERE IN A CONSTANT GRAVITATIONAL FIELD

FOR THE VISCOUS DRAG FORCE ON THE SPHERE (STOKES LAW)


F

= 6av
= 4/3 a3g (o - )

THE TIME IT TAKES FOR THE SPHERE TO TRAVEL THE GIVEN


DISTANCE d IS
T = 9d / ( 2ga2 (o - ) ) = C (1 / a)

(d = a)

VERY SMALL PARTICLES TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO PRECIPITATE


OUT OF SOLUTION.

HEATING AND COOLING

ANY ENGINE WILL GENERATE WASTE HEAT ALONG WITH THRUST.


SUPPOSE, WE TURN THE ENGINE OFF AND LET THE SPHERE COOL
DOWN TO THE BATH TEMPERATURE. HOW LONG DOES THIS TAKE?
t ~ a2
ON SMALL LENGTH SCALES DIFFUSION CAN BE VERY FAST. THIS
RESULTS IN THE RAPID COOLING OF SMALL OBJECTS.
THE DISSIPATION OF WASTE HEAT IS NOT PROBLEMATIC IN MANY
CASES.
CONDUCTION IS THE DOMINANT FORM OF HEAT TRANSFER.

RIGIDITY OF STRUCTURES

CONSIDER A LONG THIN BEAM OF LENGTH L AND SQUARE CROSSSECTION OF SIDE LENGTH a WITH a = L ( << 1). LET THE BEAM
HAVE UNIFORM YOUNGS MODULUS E, DENSITY , AND LET ONE
FACE OF THE BEAM SUPPORT AN EVENLY DISTRIBUTED LOAD OF
MAGNITUDE ga2 (g2L2).
IF THE BEAM IS FIXED AT ONE END AND FREE AT THE OTHER (A
CANTILEVER BEAM), THEN THE MAXIMUM DEFLECTION OCCURS AT
THE TIP OF THE BEAM
umax = - 3gL / 23E ~ L

(BODY FORCES)

umax ~ INDEPENDENT OF L

(SURFACE FORCES)

SMALL STRUCTURES ARE RELATIVELY RIGID AND DIFFICULT TO


DEFORM.

ELECTROSTATICS

WE WISH TO LEVITATE A SMALL SPHERE OF RADIUS a AND MASS


DENSITY IN A UNIFORM, UPWARD POINTING ELECTRIC FIELD OF
MAGNITUDE E.
Q = 4a3g / 3E

(CONDITION FOR LEVITATION)

IF THE SPHERE HAS AN EMBEDDED VOLUME CHARGE DENSITY ,


= g / E

(INDEPENDENT OF THE LENGTH SCALE a)

IF THE SPHERE HAS A NET SURFACE CHARGE DENSITY ,


= ga / 3E

(IT SCALES AS a)

SMALL SPHERES NEED A VERY LOW SURFACE CHARGE DENSITY TO


CREATE LEVITATION.

WE HAVE A CONDUCTING WIRE IN THE PRESENCE OF A CONSTANT


MAGNETIC FIELD.
LET THE WIRE HAVE LENGTH L AND RADIUS a WITH a = L ( << 1) AND
LET THE FIELD HAVE CONSTANT MAGNITUDE B.
THE WIRE CARRYING CURRENT I IS PERPENDICULAR TO BOTH THE
MAGNETIC AND GRAVITATIONAL FIELDS.
I = 2gL2 / B
J = I / (a2) = g / B

(INDEPENDENT OF L)

SUPPOSE WE ARE ABLE TO GENERATE A SURFACE CURRENT IN THE


WIRE
K

= I / (2a)
= Lg / B

(IT SCALES AS L)

LEVITATION BECOMES POSSIBLE WITH A VERY SMALL SURFACE


CURRENT.

FLUID INTERFACES

THE SURFACE TENSION OF A FLUID INTERFACE IS DEFINED AS THE


ENERGY REQUIRED TO INCREASE THE AREA OF THE INTERFACE BY
A UNIT AMOUNT.
SURFACE TENSION IS CAUSED BY AN IMBALANCE OF VAN DER
WAALS FORCES ON THE MOLECULES OF THE FLUID AT THE
INTERFACE.

THE IMBALANCE OF FORCES NORMAL TO THE SURFACE MEANS


THAT THERE MUST BE A PRESSURE DROP ACROSS A FLUID
INTERFACE IN ORDER FOR THE INTERFACE TO BE IN EQUILIBRIUM.

THE CHANGE IN PRESSURE (YOUNG-LAPLACE EQ.)


P = 2 / R

(CAPILLARY EFFECT)

- SURFACE TENSION,
R - RADIUS OF THE INTERFACE CURVATURE.

BUBBLES AND DROPLETS PROVIDE GOOD EXAMPLES.


CONSIDER AN AIR BUBBLE ONE MICRON IN DIAMETER IN WATER.
= 73 mN / m2
HENCE, THE PRESSURE DROP ACROSS THE BUBBLE SURFACE
P = 1.5 x 105 Pa = 1.5 atm

AN ELECTROSTATIC ACTUATOR

SUPPOSE WE HAVE A DEVICE THAT DEPENDS FOR ITS OPERATION


ON A PAIR OF PARALLEL, ELECTROSTATICALLY CHARGED RODS
THAT REPEL EACH OTHER.

(IT CAN BE AN ELECTROSTATIC - MECHANICAL - FLUIDIC SYSTEM)

THERMALLY DRIVEN DEVICES

- THERMOELASTIC V-BEAM ACTUATOR


(ACTUATION IS BASED ON THERMAL EXPANSION)

AN ELASTIC BEAM (V-SHAPE) IS HELD FIXED BETWEEN TWO RIGID


SUPPORTS.
- AN ELECTRIC CURRENT PROVIDES A HEAT SOURCE BY
UTILIZING JOULE HEATING,
- A RATIO OF OUTPUT FORCE TO SYSTEM SIZE IS UNFAVORABLE
FOR THIS DESIGN.

- THERMAL BIMORPH ACTUATOR

THE HOT AND COOL ARMS ARE ANCHORED AT ONE END AND FREE
TO MOVE ELSEWHERE. SINCE THE HOT ARM IS VERY THIN
COMPARED TO THE COOL ARM, ITS RESISTANCE TO CURRENT FLOW
IS MUCH GREATER.

JOULE HEATING WILL CAUSE A LARGE TEMPERATURE INCREASE IN


THE HOT ARM. IN TURN, LARGE THERMAL STRESSES WILL DEVELOP
IN THE HOT ARM CAUSING THE ENTIRE SYSTEM TO DEFLECT.

- THERMOPNEUMATIC VALVE
IT RELIES UPON THE CHANGE IN VOLUME OF A HEATED FLUID TO
PROVIDE A FORCE.

A RESISTIVE HEATING ELEMENT IS EMBEDDED IN A RIGID


SUBSTRATE. A FLUID RESIDES IN A CAVITY ABOVE THE HEATING
ELEMENT. THE TOP OF THE CAVITY IS COVERED BY AN ELASTIC
MEMBRANE. AS A CURRENT PASSES THROUGH THE HEATING
ELEMENT, JOULE HEATING OCCURS AND THE FLUIDS TEMPERATURE
INCREASES. THIS INCREASES THE PRESSURE IN THE FLUID AND
THE ELASTIC MEMBRANE IS PUSHED UPWARD. THE MEMBRANE
THEN ACTS AS A VALVE REGULATING THE FLOW IN A
MICROCHANNEL.

THERMAL ANEMOMETER

A HEAT SOURCE IS PLACED IN A FLOW BETWEEN A PAIR OF


TEMPERATURE SENSORS.

BY MEASURING THE DIFFERENCE IN TEMPERATURE UPWIND AND


DOWNWIND OF THE HEAT SOURCE, THE SPEED OF THE FLOW CAN
BE INFERRED.

THERMAL DATA STORAGE DEVICE

THE RESISTIVE HEATING OF AN ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPE TIP


CREATES A THERMAL DATA STORAGE SYSTEM.

A RESISTIVELY HEATED AFM TIP IS USED TO MAKE INDENTATIONS IN


A POLYCARBONATE DISK. THE PRESENCE OF AN INDENTATION
CORRESPONDS TO a 1, WHILE THE ABSENCE CORRESPONDS TO a 0
(BINARY DATA RECORDING). DATA DENSITY NEAR 100 Gb/in2 HAS
BEEN DEMONSTRATED USING THIS SYSTEM. A TYPICAL CD-ROM
RECORDS DATA WITH A DENSITY OF ABOUT 30 Gb/in2.

SHAPE MEMORY ACTUATOR

A MATERIAL UNDERGOES A PHASE CHANGE IN RESPONSE TO A


TEMPERATURE CHANGE.
IN THE AUSTENITE, OR REMEMBERED PHASE, WHICH OCCURS AT
HIGH TEMPERATURE, THE MATERIAL IS STIFF AND NOT EASILY
DEFORMED. IN THE MARTENSITE PHASE, WHICH OCCURS AT LOW
TEMPERATURE, THE MATERIAL DEFORMS PLASTICALLY.
UPON HEATING A DEFORMED MATERIAL IN THE MARTENSITE PHASE,
IT TRANFORMS TO THE AUSTENITE PHASE AND ASSUMES ITS
PREVIOUS HIGH-TEMPERATURE SHAPE.
THIS PROCESS CREATES LARGE FORCES THAT MAY BE UTILIZED IN
AN ACTUATOR.
THE RESISTIVE HEATING IS APPLIED HERE TO PROVIDE THE
TEMPRATURE CHANGE.

ELASTIC STRUCTURES IN MEMS / NEMS

CARBON NANOTUBE CAPS


YAO AND LORDI SHOWED THAT CARBON NANOTUBE CAPPED WITH A
HEMISPHERICAL CARBON STRUCTURE CAN BE USED AS A
NANOSCALE HOOKEAN SPRING.

RECENT WORK HAS SHOWN THAT THIS EFFECT MAY DEPEND ON


TEMPERATURE AND CAN BE MODIFIED BY FILLING THE NANOTUBE
WITH DIFFERENT MATERIALS.

PRESSURE SENSORS
THE PRESSURE SENSOR IS A STAPLE OF MEMS ENGINEERING.

THE DIFFERENCE IN PRESSURE BETWEEN OPPOSING SIDES OF THE


DIAPHRAGM CAUSES A STRESS AND POSSIBLY A DISPLACEMENT OF
THE DIAPHRAGM.
A VARIETY OF METHODS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED TO DETECT THE
STRESS OR DISPLACEMENT.
- CAPACITANCE CHANGE,
- PIEZORESISTIVE EFFECT (ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE VS.
STRESS),
- ELASTIC DEFLECTION.

MICRO- AND NANOTWEEZERS


PHILIP KIM AND CHARLES LIEBER FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY
DEVELOPED NANOTWEEZER.

A PAIR OF CNs ARE ATTACHED TO GOLD ELECTRODES, WHICH IN


TURN, ARE FASTENED TO A TAPERED GLASS MICROPIPETTE.
UNDERSTANDING THE DEFORMATION OF ELASTIC BEAMS
SUBJECTED TO VARIOUS LOADS IS ESSENTIAL FOR
UNDERSTANDING AND DESIGNING TWEEZERS.

NANOMECHANICAL RESONATOR
RECENTLY ELECTROMECHANICAL RESONATOR INVENTED BY
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HAS BEEN REPLICATED ON THE NANOSCALE
AS THE CENTERPIECE OF A CHARGE DETECTION DEVICE.

THE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE INDUCES CHARGE ON THE TWO BELLS


(EQUAL BUT OPPOSITE SIGN). A STIFF SILICON BEAM SUPPORTS A
NANOSCALE ISLAND BETWEEN A PAIR OF ELECTRODES. THE
NANOSCALE ISLAND HAS A CHARACTERISTIC LENGTH OF 100 nm.
NANOSCALE RESONATORS OPERATE AT FREQUENCIES OF ABOVE
500 MHz AND WITH QUALITY FACTORS AS LARGE AS 250,000.

DESCRIPTION OF COUPLED THERMAL-ELASTIC STRUCTURES

THERMOELASTIC V-BEAM ACTUATOR


WE CONSIDER THE STRUCTURE AS A PART OF ACTUATOR DESIGN.

WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE DEFLECTION OF OUR ACTUATOR AS


A FUNCTION OF ROD TEMPERATURE.
THE DEFLECTION OF AN ELASTIC BEAM, IN THE STEADY-STATE,
SATISFIES
d2/dx2 (EI d2v/dx2) + P d2v/dx2 = F
F

- APPLIED LOAD DUE TO THERMAL STRESSES PLUS AN


EXTRA APPLIED LOAD,

- TENSION IN THE BEAM (PRESSURE),

- STEADY-STATE DEFLECTION,

EI - FLEXURAL RIGIDITY OF THE BEAM.

THE CRITICAL VALUE OF P (EULER LOAD) WHEN BUCKLING HAS


OCCURRED:
Pc = 2EI / L2
ASSUMING THE ENDS OF THE ROD DO NOT MOVE, THE
THERMOELASTIC DUHAMEL-NEUMANN RELATION BETWEEN P AND T
IS
P = AE (T - To)
AND BUCKLING CRITICAL TEMPERATURE IS
Tc = To + (2I / AL2)
To - AMBIENT TEMPERATURE,

- COEFFICIENT OF THERMAL EXPANSION,

- CROSS-SECTIONAL AREA OF THE BEAM.

THE APPROXIMATE BUCKLED SHAPE ASSUMED BY OUR V-BEAM


ACTUATOR IS
v(x) = (2L / ) [ (T - Tc)]1/2 sin(x / L)
WITH MAXIMUM DISPLACEMENT OCCURING AT x = L / 2 AND HAVING
VALUE
v(L / 2) = (2L / ) [ (T - Tc)]1/2