Skip to content

Testing MEMS

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

mems04How do you test the sensors in smartphones, smartwatches, and up-and-coming medical devices? With a Femtotools FT-RS1002 Microrobotic System of course! In 2016 the Department of Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics (Faculty of ICT, UoM) set up a slew of devices to be able to to probe, prod and poke devices up to a resolution of 1 nm (thinner  than the diameter of a human hair).

Quick Specs

Number of axes: 3

Maximum velocity: 5 mm/s

Minimum motion increment: 1 nm

Actuation principle: Piezoelectric scanning/stepping

Sensor probe tip area: 50 µm x 50 µm

FT-S100000 sensor force range: ±100000 µN

FT-S100000 sensor resolution at 10Hz: ±5 µN

Operating temperature: 5°C to 100°C

The team of computer scientists collaborated with global semiconductor chip maker ST Microelectronics to p roduce MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems). MEMS are the tiny sensors or devices often found in smartphones that allow them to act like a compass, know how fast a person is going, or detect sound. In Malta, the new equipment is being used to measure mechanical properties (for example shear testing and flexure testing) of tiny mirrors that can be used to turn phones into high-quality projectors (part of the Lab4MEMS2 project part-funded by the EU). This toolkit is incredibly versatile, forming part of a station that can have additional add-ons to widen its applications. Now the team wants to buy more sensitive microforce probes and microgrippers that will allo w the manipulation and assembly of microsystems. This toolkit’s micromechanical testing can be used in many research and industrial applications. This way, the horizon is open for studies into semiconductor technology, microsystem development, materials science, micromedicine, or biotechnology—placing Malta on the semiconductor map.

 

More to Explore

Adrift at Sea: Laws, Morals, and Policies in Malta’s Search and Rescue Region

Since 2016, EU member states have scaled down search and rescue operations that save lives at sea and replaced them with policies intended to reduce the number of migrant arrivals to Europe. These policies of non-assistance and forced returns to Libya render the central Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest border spaces and force asylum seekers back to a war zone where inhuman and degrading treatment is well-documented. A growing network of civil society organisations continues to challenge these policies in the courts, on the streets, and at sea. This article, the second in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM), Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM, and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM.

Concentration Camps in Libya

Following the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya descended into a decade of disunity and violence resulting in incalculable suffering and loss of life. Today, much of the country remains a war zone, and migrants in EU-sponsored Libyan detention facilities continue to suffer well-documented, gross human rights violations. This article, the first in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM); Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM; and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM. 

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment