Since the late nineties, MicroSystems Technologies (MST) have evolved from
research subjects into relatively mature industrial applications. The high added
value provided by the embedded microsensors and/or microactuators in industrial
products, e.g. airbags and inkjet printer heads, is undoubtedly a very challenging
motivation for R&D actors. Additionally, the use of integrated Microsystems
reduces their unit cost, improves their reliability and multiplies their
fonctionnalities. To some extent, the use of Microsystems is believed to have become
the only solution for some of todays problems (a solution that we can not yet
imagine, at a scale we can not see). But MST industry is unique, in that it
encompasses various microfabrication techniques and requests multiple types of
expertise, from specific design to custom packaging via a large number of collective
To address this booming topic, the 5th session of the International Summer
School on Advanced Microelectronics Grenoble (MIGAS) was held in September
2002 in Autrans (Vercors mountains, France) and was dedicated to Microsystems
and Microtechnologies issues.
Its main objective was to give a state of the art course in this domain and to
highlight the promising issues in this multidisciplinary topic, but also on important
research subjects such as packaging, testing and reliability aspects.
This special issue of the Journal Nano et Micro Technologies assembles selected
papers from the lectures given during this School.
The program was divided in three modules:
The first one gives a review of the more currently used techniques in
microsystems fabs. After an interesting comparison between microelectronics and
microsystems technologies, surface and bulk micromachining techniques were
addressed and illustrated by several concrete examples including sensors and
electrostatically actuated microactuators. The LIGA microfabrication technique
was reviewed with emphasis on relevant examples especially for microfluidic
applications. Finally, wafer assembly techniques by wafer bonding methods were
exposed in the case of bare and microstructured wafers.
The second module was conceived to assess all the above mentioned techniques
by case studies dealing with the major applications on the market (RF-MEMS,
MOEMS, Magnetics microsystems).The third part focused on packaging, testing, reliability and failure analysis
CAO tools and methods were presented by two software developers (we include
a presentation of one of them in last chapter).
We hope that this volume will be a reference for the Microsystems scientific
community and will modestly contribute to promoting this dynamic domain.
The guest editors are pleased to acknowledge the Ministère de la Jeunesse, de
lEducation nationale et de la Recherche for its financial funding through the
Université Européenne d'Eté 2002.