Mech 555: Fundamentals of Microelectromechanical Systems


  • Mu Chiao
  • Email:

Catalogue Description

Micro-fabrication of MEMS: solid-state technology and other micromachining techniques. Engineering principles of various MEMS devices.

Course Organization

This course includes 3 hours of lecture per week and several visits to the UBC cleanroom (labs) over the entire term. The students will work on one individual class project.

Lecture Topics

  • History of MEMS
  • Laws of small scale engineering
  • Photolithography
  • Thin film deposition
  • Oxidation and diffusion
  • Etching technology
  • Surface micromachining
  • Silicon bulk micromachining
  • Molding and bonding techniques
  • Standard MEMS processes
  • Electrical and mechanical concepts
  • Piezoresistive effect, strain gauges, accelerometers, pressure sensors
  • Thermal principles and thermal actuators
  • Thermal resistors and thermal sensors
  • Electrostatic actuators and sensors
  • Piezoelectric microdevices
  • Magnetic microactuators
  • Optical microdevices
  • Test and characterization methods

Laboratory Exercises

The clean room visits will be carried out in groups.

Class Project

Each student will work on an individual class project. This includes a presentation in class and a project report.


Assignments will be given on a regular basis.


The final grade of each student will be based on the student’s performance in the assignments, laboratory exercises, the midterm examination, a class presentation, and the class project.