ECE 5210 Microelectromechanical Systems From Fabrication to Application | ECE | Virginia Tech


Course Information


This course focuses on the design, fabrication, and application of microsystems providing a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary interactions.

Why take this course?

MEMS technology is at the forefront of modern science and engineering of sensors, actuators, and other miniature devices. With the development of microfabrication technologies and facilities at Virginia Tech, it is natural that we become involved in this state-of-the-art research. This course will prepare students with the necessary background to allow them to participate in advanced processing laboratory and advanced MEMS design and microfabrication courses and also to pursue research in various aspects of microsystems development.


Prerequisites: 4234 or BCHM 4124 or CHE 4114 or CHEM 4124 or ESM 4014 or ESM 4024 or ME 4304 or ME 4404 or MSE 4254 or MSE 4354. Graduate Standing

This is an interdisciplinary course that is an introduction to the field of MEMS processing and technology. The objective is to attract early graduate students from a wide range of fields such as biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science, and mechanical engineering. The 4000-level courses listed are all relevant to MEMS technology. It is recognized that students will bring a wide range of skills such as those found in the prerequisite list; all will be able to participate in various valuable ways to the course. Graduate standing will ensure a level of maturity necessary to integrated concepts across multiple disciplines. Missing materials for all students will be properly covered to assure that all students leave the course with an appropriate level of understanding of microsystems to be able to take more advanced courses offered by the various departments involved in nanoscience and technology.

Major Measurable Learning Objectives

  • describe various microsystems and MEMS technologies and their applications,
  • quantitatively explain various semiconductor processes, microfabrication, techniques and wafer-level packaging technologies
  • describe different sensing and actuating mechanisms in Microsystems,
  • design various MEMS systems using microfabrication techniques and transduction mechanisms,
  • describe different materials and their properties in MEMS,
  • build quantitative models of MEMS/BioMEMS structures (using state-of-the-art computer modeling software), and
  • function in (multidisciplinary) teams.

Course Topics


Percentage of Course

Materials 10%
Microfabrication techniques 20%
Sensing mechanisms 10%
Actuating mechanisms 10%
Wafer bonding and packaging 10%
CAD tools for MEMS 10%
Case studies 15%
Projects 15%