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MEMS Design and Analysis

The mission for the MEMS Design and Analysis services group at Sandia is to improve first-pass design success in MEMS by providing tools and expertise in design layout, modeling and simulation, and visualization. This enables our national security customers to effectively utilize state-of-the-art fabrication technologies.


Design Facilities

One of the unique challenges facing the world of MEMS is the transformation of innovative device concepts into actual design specifications. Because MEMS devices are created using integrated circuit fabrication infrastructure, designs must be specified as a series of two-dimensional drawings for each mask level that collectively define the reticle set. We have implemented a Design Center that provides the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the exciting process of designing new MEMS.

Figure 1

Figure 2

The state-of-the-art Design Center serves multiple critical functions. Most importantly, it serves as a place where designers can bring their MEMS ideas to life (Figure 1). Having a central design location greatly facilitates interaction and collaboration not only among designers, but with process engineers as well (Figure 2). This interaction is an important part of the training process for new MEMS designers, and creates a "brain center" out of which revolutionary new designs and technologies emerge.

Figure 3

Figure 4

In the Design Center are design workstations (Figure 3) that run AutoCAD (Figure 4), the software which serves as the basis for the two-dimensional drawings for each mask level. We have created a number of design and layout tools that customize AutoCAD to facilitate the MEMS design process. Among them are standard components libraries that spare the designer from tedious process of "re-inventing the wheel" and provide parts proven to be functional. Automated design rule checking helps to ensure that newly designed devices will work properly when processed with our fabrication technology.

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Figure 6


Analysis in MEMS Design

FEA Analysis Performing analysis prior to fabrication can be critical to designing devices that meet customer requirements. Modeling and simulation of MEMS can lead to improved device performance and a better understanding of the underlying physics, failure mechanisms, and sensitivity to process variations. Analysis is done throughout the product development cycle, for design optimization, uncertainty quantification, model validation, device characterization, and certification.

Contact MEMS at Sandia: memsinfo@sandia.gov

MEMS Image Gallery

MEMS Bibliography
MEMS Bibliography

Design Manual …
DRC Error Descriptions
Design Review Checklist

MEMS Bibliography
MEMS Brochure