Today MEMS is a common acronym among engineers. Therm MEMS stood for micro-electro-mechanical system and was started to use in 1980sin USA. MEMS are called systems because they are sensors and contain electronic circuitry inside which conditions sensor signal. Simply speaking, MEMS is usually a chip device that integrates mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics. Most interesting and important partis mechanical. Miniaturizing the mechanical parts using micro-machining technology when selectively parts are etched away, it became possible to create mechanical structures on silicon base and electronic devices.
MEMS devices are used everywhere today, including automotive, industrial even computer hard drives with MEMS sensors for shock protection. The ability to integrate mechanical sensors inside the chip made it possible to design compact accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, sensors with integrated RF, and many more. Also, technology enables the integration of more than one sensor inside the chip. One example may be 3-axis accelerometers. A major producer of inertial MEMS is Analog Devices, which produce accelerometers and gyroscopes.
Today’s cars cant be imagined without dozens of MEMS devices. Thanks to them, airbag systems can save many lives. Micro-mechanical mirror systems cannot be imagined in optical communications.
Today a lot of research is being done on MEMS motors.
Imagine a 100nm motor that drives micro-optics in optical switching devices, micro or even nanorobots delivering medicine to pain area and unloading it with micro-pumps.
MEMS are shrinking to smaller and smaller sizes from micro to the nanoscale. So there is a new therm emerging “Nano-electro-mechanical” Systems so-called NEMS. NEMS technology, or simply speaking nanotechnology, operates at the molecular and atomic levels. The most interesting area today is self-assembly or mimic molecular systems.