The proposed technology integrates piezoelectric plates onto MEMS substrates to generate ultrasonic stress pulses incident on surface micromachines. The piezoelectric plate actuators can deliver energy from the bottom of the substrate to surface micromachines, giving three dimensionality to two-dimensional sur-face micromachines. The proposal focuses on using the ultrasonic pulse energy to address two challenges in making MEMS more practical. The first is to de-stick stuck surface micromachines to solve the in-use stiction problem. The second is to actuate hinged surface micromachines to enable massively parallel assembly and actuation of surface micromachines. In order to explore the ultimate limits of the technology, analytical and numerical models of the pulse generation will be developed. These models will be used to design electronic circuits and actuator struc-tures that are efficient couple energy to surface micromachines. The techniques developed will enable interconnect-less actuation of surface micromachines made by any surface micromachine process. Realizing that the US industry needs many more MEMS students than can be generated by the US grad-uate programs, and that the MEMS field originated from the microelectronics fabrication community, a plan to assimilate MEMS concepts into core microelectronics courses will be implemented. Assimilation into department core courses in cooperation with non-MEMS faculty will be conducted. The strategy should result in MEMS know-how in all electrical engineers taking microelectronics courses. This massive proliferation of MEMS knowledge in a broad community will allow industrial design teams to use MEMS devices more readily, paving the way for large scale entry of MEMS into everyday technology. A course in BioMEMS focused on fundamentals of chemistry, biology, and fluid mechanics will be developed for electrical engineering students.

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Cornell University
United States
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