Matching Items (20)

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Graphene Growth and Transfer on Ultrathin Platinum Films

Description

Graphene is a very strong two-dimensional material with a lot of potential applications in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In this research, graphene is being optimized for use in a 5 m

Graphene is a very strong two-dimensional material with a lot of potential applications in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). In this research, graphene is being optimized for use in a 5 m x 5 m graphene resonator. To work properly, this graphene resonator must have a uniform strain across all manufactured devices. To reduce strain induced in graphene sheets grown for use in these resonators, evaporated platinum has been used in this investigation due to its relatively lower surface roughness compared to copper films. The final goal is to have the layer of ultrathin platinum (<=200 nm) deposited on the MEMS graphene resonator and used to grow graphene directly onto the devices to remove the manual transfer step due to its inscalability. After growth, graphene is coated with polymer and the platinum is then etched. This investigation concentrated on the transfer process of graphene onto Si/SiO2 substrate from the platinum films. It was determined that the ideal platinum etchant was aqua regia at a volumetric ratio of 6:3:1 (H2O:HCl:HNO3). This concentration was dilute enough to preserve the polymer and graphene layer, but strong enough to etch within a day. Type and thickness of polymer support layers were also investigated. PMMA at a thickness of 200 nm was ideal because it was easy to remove with acetone and strong enough to support the graphene during the etch process. A reference growth recipe was used in this investigation, but now that the transfer has been demonstrated, growth can be optimized for even thinner films.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Molecular electronic transducer-based seismometer and accelerometer fabricated with micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques

Description

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of an electrochemical cell that senses the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to the output current. MET seismometers have advantages of high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 1μm, which improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 3000 V/(m/s^2) under operating bias of 600 mV and input acceleration of 400 μG (G=9.81m/s^2) at 0.32 Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -127 dB equivalent to 44 nG/√Hz at 1 Hz. An alternative approach to build the sensing element of MEMS MET seismometer using SOI process is also presented in this thesis. The significantly increased number of channels is expected to improve the noise performance. Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is developed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet encapsulated by oil film. The fabrication process does not involve focused ion beam milling which is used in the micro MET seismometer fabrication, thus the cost is lowered. Furthermore, the planar structure and the novel idea of using an oil film as the sealing diaphragm eliminate the complicated three-dimensional packaging of the seismometer. The fabricated device achieves 10.8 V/G sensitivity at 20 Hz with nearly flat response over the frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 75 μG/√Hz at 20 Hz.

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Date Created
  • 2014

Bluetooth low energy for use with MEM sensors

Description

ABSTRACT

Designers creating the next generation remote sensing enabled smart devices need to overcome the challenges of prevailing ventures including time to market and expense.

To reduce the time and effort involved

ABSTRACT

Designers creating the next generation remote sensing enabled smart devices need to overcome the challenges of prevailing ventures including time to market and expense.

To reduce the time and effort involved in initial prototyping, a good reference design is often desired and warranted. This paper provides the necessary reference materials for Designers to implement a wireless solution efficiently and effectively.

This document is intended for users with limited Bluetooth technology experience.

Many sensing-enabled devices require a ‘hard-wire’ or cable link to a host monitoring system. This can limit the potential for product advancements by anchoring the system to a single location preventing portability and the convenience of a remote system. By removing the “wired” or cabled portion from a design, a broader scope of devices becomes feasible.

One common problematic area for these types of sensors is within the internal medicine field. Proximity sensing is far more practical and less invasive to implement than surgical implantation. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) systems solve the hard wired problem by decoupling the physical sensor from the host system through a BLE transceiver that can send information to an external monitoring system. This wireless link enables new sensor technology to be leveraged into previously unobtainable markets; such as, internal medicine, wearable devices, and Infotainment to name a few. Wireless technology for sensor systems are a potentially disruptive technology changing the way environmental monitoring is implemented and considered.

With this BLE design reference, products can be created with new capabilities to advance current technologies for military, commercial, industrial and medical sectors in rapid succession.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Towards adaptive micro-robotic neural interfaces: autonomous navigation of microelectrodes in the brain for optimal neural recording

Description

Advances in implantable MEMS technology has made possible adaptive micro-robotic implants that can track and record from single neurons in the brain. Development of autonomous neural interfaces opens up exciting

Advances in implantable MEMS technology has made possible adaptive micro-robotic implants that can track and record from single neurons in the brain. Development of autonomous neural interfaces opens up exciting possibilities of micro-robots performing standard electrophysiological techniques that would previously take researchers several hundred hours to train and achieve the desired skill level. It would result in more reliable and adaptive neural interfaces that could record optimal neural activity 24/7 with high fidelity signals, high yield and increased throughput. The main contribution here is validating adaptive strategies to overcome challenges in autonomous navigation of microelectrodes inside the brain. The following issues pose significant challenges as brain tissue is both functionally and structurally dynamic: a) time varying mechanical properties of the brain tissue-microelectrode interface due to the hyperelastic, viscoelastic nature of brain tissue b) non-stationarities in the neural signal caused by mechanical and physiological events in the interface and c) the lack of visual feedback of microelectrode position in brain tissue. A closed loop control algorithm is proposed here for autonomous navigation of microelectrodes in brain tissue while optimizing the signal-to-noise ratio of multi-unit neural recordings. The algorithm incorporates a quantitative understanding of constitutive mechanical properties of soft viscoelastic tissue like the brain and is guided by models that predict stresses developed in brain tissue during movement of the microelectrode. An optimal movement strategy is developed that achieves precise positioning of microelectrodes in the brain by minimizing the stresses developed in the surrounding tissue during navigation and maximizing the speed of movement. Results of testing the closed-loop control paradigm in short-term rodent experiments validated that it was possible to achieve a consistently high quality SNR throughout the duration of the experiment. At the systems level, new generation of MEMS actuators for movable microelectrode array are characterized and the MEMS device operation parameters are optimized for improved performance and reliability. Further, recommendations for packaging to minimize the form factor of the implant; design of device mounting and implantation techniques of MEMS microelectrode array to enhance the longevity of the implant are also included in a top-down approach to achieve a reliable brain interface.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Wireless 3D system-on-package (SoP) for MEMS movable microelectrode

Description

There is a tremendous need for wireless biological signals acquisition for the microelectrode-based neural interface to reduce the mechanical impacts introduced by wire-interconnects system. Long wire connections impede the ability

There is a tremendous need for wireless biological signals acquisition for the microelectrode-based neural interface to reduce the mechanical impacts introduced by wire-interconnects system. Long wire connections impede the ability to continuously record the neural signal for chronic application from the rodent's brain. Furthermore, connecting and/or disconnecting Omnetics interconnects often introduces mechanical stress which causes blood vessel to rupture and leads to trauma to the brain tissue. Following the initial implantation trauma, glial tissue formation around the microelectrode and may possibly lead to the microelectrode signal degradation. The aim of this project is to design, develop, and test a compact and power efficient integrated system (IS) that is able to (a) wirelessly transmit triggering signal from the computer to the signal generator which supplies voltage waveforms that move the MEMS microelectrodes, (b) wirelessly transmit neural data from the brain to the external computer, and (c) provide an electrical interface for a closed loop control to continuously move the microelectrode till a proper quality of neural signal is achieved. One of the main challenges of this project is the limited data transmission rate of the commercially available wireless system to transmit 400 kbps of digitized neural signals/electrode, which include spikes, local field potential (LFP), and noise. A commercially available Bluetooth module is only capable to transmit at a total of 115 kbps data transfer rate. The approach to this challenge is to digitize the analog neural signal with a lower accuracy ADC to lower the data rate, so that is reasonable to wirelessly transfer neural data of one channel. In addition, due to the limited space and weight bearing capability to the rodent's head, a compact and power efficient integrated system is needed to reduce the packaged volume and power consumption. 3D SoP technology has been used to stack the PCBs in a 3D form-factor, proper routing designs and techniques are implemented to reduce the electrical routing resistances and the parasitic RC delay. It is expected that this 3D design will reduce the power consumption significantly in comparison to the 2D one. The progress of this project is divided into three different phases, which can be outlined as follow: a) Design, develop, and test Bluetooth wireless system to transmit the triggering signal from the computer to the signal generator. The system is designed for three moveable microelectrodes. b) Design, develop, and test Bluetooth wireless system to wirelessly transmit an amplified (200 gain) neural signal from one single electrode to an external computer. c) Design, develop, and test a closed loop control system that continuously moves a microelectrode in searching of an acceptable quality of neural spikes. The outcome of this project can be used not only for the need of neural application but also for a wider and general applications that requires customized signal generations and wireless data transmission.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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3D system-on-package (SoP) signal generator to control MEMS movable microelectrode arrays

Description

Microelectrodes have been used as the neural interface to record brain's neural activities. Most of these electrodes are fixed positioned. Neural signal normally degrades over time due to the body

Microelectrodes have been used as the neural interface to record brain's neural activities. Most of these electrodes are fixed positioned. Neural signal normally degrades over time due to the body immune response and brain micromotion that move the neurons away from the microelectrode. MEMS technology under SUMMiT VTM processes has developed miniaturized version of moveable microelectrodes that have the ability to recover the neural signal degradation by searching new cluster of neurons. To move the MEMS microelectrode a combination of four voltage waveforms must be applied to four thermally actuated microactuators. Previous design has used OmneticTM interconnect to transfer the waveforms from the external signal generators to the MEMS device. Unfortunately, the mechanism to attach and detach the OmneticTM interconnect introduce mechanical stress into the brain tissue that often caused raptures in the blood vessel. The goal of this project is to create an integrated System-On-Package Signal Generator that can be implanted on the brain of a rodent. A wireless system and a microcontroller are integrated together with the signal generators. The integrated system can be used to generate a series of voltage waveforms that can be customized to drive an array of MEMS movable microelectrodes when a triggered signal is received wirelessly. 3D stacking technique has been used to develop this Integrated System. 3D stacks lead to several favorable factors, such as (a) reduction in the power consumption of the system, (b) reduction in the overall form-factor of the package, and (c) significant reduction the weight of the package. There are a few challenges that must be overcome in this project, such as a commercially available microcontroller normally have an output voltage of 3.3 V to 5.5 V; however, a voltage of 7 - 8V is required to move the MEMS movable microelectrodes. To acquire higher density neural recording, more number of microelectrodes are needed. In this project, SoP Signal Generator is design to drive independently 3 moveable microelectrodes. Therefore, 12 voltage waveform are required. . However, the use of 12 signal generators is not a workable option since the system will be significantly large. This brings us to the other challenge, the limiting size of the rodent brain. Due to this factor, the SoP Signal Generator has to be deisgned to be able to fit without causing much pressure to the rodent's brain. For the first challenge, which is the limited output voltage of 3.3V on the microcontroller, the RC555 timers are used as an amplifier in addition to generating the signals. Demultiplexers have been for the next challenge, which is the need of 24 waveforms to drive 3 electrodes. For each waveform, 1 demultiplexer is used, making a total of 4 demultiplexers used in the entire system, which is a significant improvement from using 12 signal generators. The last challenge can be approached using 3D system stacking technique as mentioned above. The research aims of this project can be described as follows: (1) the testing and realization of the system part, and the designing of the system in a PCB level, (2) implementing and testing the SoP Signal Generator with the MEMS movable microelectrodes, The final outcome of this project can be used not only for neural applications, but also for more general applications that requires customized signal generations and wireless data transmission.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Fully passive wireless acquisition of neuropotentials

Description

The ability to monitor electrophysiological signals from the sentient brain is requisite to decipher its enormously complex workings and initiate remedial solutions for the vast amount of neurologically-based disorders. Despite

The ability to monitor electrophysiological signals from the sentient brain is requisite to decipher its enormously complex workings and initiate remedial solutions for the vast amount of neurologically-based disorders. Despite immense advancements in creating a variety of instruments to record signals from the brain, the translation of such neurorecording instrumentation to real clinical domains places heavy demands on their safety and reliability, both of which are not entirely portrayed by presently existing implantable recording solutions. In an attempt to lower these barriers, alternative wireless radar backscattering techniques are proposed to render the technical burdens of the implant chip to entirely passive neurorecording processes that transpire in the absence of formal integrated power sources or powering schemes along with any active circuitry. These radar-like wireless backscattering mechanisms are used to conceive of fully passive neurorecording operations of an implantable microsystem. The fully passive device potentially manifests inherent advantages over current wireless implantable and wired recording systems: negligible heat dissipation to reduce risks of brain tissue damage and minimal circuitry for long term reliability as a chronic implant. Fully passive neurorecording operations are realized via intrinsic nonlinear mixing properties of the varactor diode. These mixing and recording operations are directly activated by wirelessly interrogating the fully passive device with a microwave carrier signal. This fundamental carrier signal, acquired by the implant antenna, mixes through the varactor diode along with the internal targeted neuropotential brain signals to produce higher frequency harmonics containing the targeted neuropotential signals. These harmonics are backscattered wirelessly to the external interrogator that retrieves and recovers the original neuropotential brain signal. The passive approach removes the need for internal power sources and may alleviate heat trauma and reliability issues that limit practical implementation of existing implantable neurorecorders.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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High performance microbial fuel cells and supercapacitors using Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology

Description

A Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a bio-inspired carbon-neutral, renewable electrochemical converter to extract electricity from catabolic reaction of micro-organisms. It is a promising technology capable of directly converting the

A Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a bio-inspired carbon-neutral, renewable electrochemical converter to extract electricity from catabolic reaction of micro-organisms. It is a promising technology capable of directly converting the abundant biomass on the planet into electricity and potentially alleviate the emerging global warming and energy crisis. The current and power density of MFCs are low compared with conventional energy conversion techniques. Since its debut in 2002, many studies have been performed by adopting a variety of new configurations and structures to improve the power density. The reported maximum areal and volumetric power densities range from 19 mW/m2 to 1.57 W/m2 and from 6.3 W/m3 to 392 W/m3, respectively, which are still low compared with conventional energy conversion techniques. In this dissertation, the impact of scaling effect on the performance of MFCs are investigated, and it is found that by scaling down the characteristic length of MFCs, the surface area to volume ratio increases and the current and power density improves. As a result, a miniaturized MFC fabricated by Micro-Electro-Mechanical System(MEMS) technology with gold anode is presented in this dissertation, which demonstrate a high power density of 3300 W/m3. The performance of the MEMS MFC is further improved by adopting anodes with higher surface area to volume ratio, such as carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene based anodes, and the maximum power density is further improved to a record high power density of 11220 W/m3. A novel supercapacitor by regulating the respiration of the bacteria is also presented, and a high power density of 531.2 A/m2 (1,060,000 A/m3) and 197.5 W/m2 (395,000 W/m3), respectively, are marked, which are one to two orders of magnitude higher than any previously reported microbial electrochemical techniques.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Robust human motion tracking using low-cost inertial sensors

Description

The advancements in the technology of MEMS fabrication has been phenomenal in recent years. In no mean measure this has been the result of continued demand from the consumer electronics

The advancements in the technology of MEMS fabrication has been phenomenal in recent years. In no mean measure this has been the result of continued demand from the consumer electronics market to make devices smaller and better. MEMS inertial measuring units (IMUs) have found revolutionary applications in a wide array of fields like medical instrumentation, navigation, attitude stabilization and virtual reality. It has to be noted though that for advanced applications of motion tracking, navigation and guidance the cost of the IMUs is still pretty high. This is mainly because the process of calibration and signal processing used to get highly stable results from MEMS IMU is an expensive and time-consuming process. Also to be noted is the inevitability of using external sensors like GPS or camera for aiding the IMU data due to the error propagation in IMU measurements adds to the complexity of the system.

First an efficient technique is proposed to acquire clean and stable data from unaided IMU measurements and then proceed to use that system for tracking human motion. First part of this report details the design and development of the low-cost inertial measuring system ‘yIMU’. This thesis intends to bring together seemingly independent techniques that were highly application specific into one monolithic algorithm that is computationally efficient for generating reliable orientation estimates. Second part, systematically deals with development of a tracking routine for human limb movements. The validity of the system has then been verified.

The central idea is that in most cases the use of expensive MEMS IMUs is not warranted if robust smart algorithms can be deployed to gather data at a fraction of the cost. A low-cost prototype has been developed comparable to tactical grade performance for under $15 hardware. In order to further the practicability of this device we have applied it to human motion tracking with excellent results. The commerciality of device has hence been thoroughly established.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Development of deformable electronics using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based fabrication technologies

Description

This dissertation presents my work on development of deformable electronics using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based fabrication technologies. In recent years, deformable electronics are coming to revolutionize the functionality of microelectronics

This dissertation presents my work on development of deformable electronics using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based fabrication technologies. In recent years, deformable electronics are coming to revolutionize the functionality of microelectronics seamlessly with their application environment, ranging from various consumer electronics to bio-medical applications. Many researchers have studied this area, and a wide variety of devices have been fabricated. One traditional way is to directly fabricate electronic devices on flexible substrate through low-temperature processes. These devices suffered from constrained functionality due to the temperature limit. Another transfer printing approach has been developed recently. The general idea is to fabricate functional devices on hard and planar substrates using standard processes then transferred by elastomeric stamps and printed on desired flexible and stretchable substrates. The main disadvantages are that the transfer printing step may limit the yield. The third method is "flexible skins" which silicon substrates are thinned down and structured into islands and sandwiched by two layers of polymer. The main advantage of this method is post CMOS compatible. Based on this technology, we successfully fabricated a 3-D flexible thermal sensor for intravascular flow monitoring. The final product of the 3-D sensor has three independent sensing elements equally distributed around the wall of catheter (1.2 mm in diameter) with 120° spacing. This structure introduces three independent information channels, and cross-comparisons among all readings were utilized to eliminate experimental error and provide better measurement results. The novel fabrication and assembly technology can also be applied to other catheter based biomedical devices. A step forward inspired by the ancient art of folding, origami, which creating three-dimensional (3-D) structures from two-dimensional (2-D) sheets through a high degree of folding along the creases. Based on this idea, we developed a novel method to enable better deformability. One example is origami-enabled silicon solar cells. The solar panel can reach up to 644% areal compactness while maintain reasonable good performance (less than 30% output power density drop) upon 40 times cyclic folding/unfolding. This approach can be readily applied to other functional devices, ranging from sensors, displays, antenna, to energy storage devices.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014