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Nano et Micro Technologies

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 ARTICLE VOL 2/1-2 - 2002  - pp.7-8

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 today’s 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 fabrication procedures. 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 techniques. 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 l’Education nationale et de la Recherche for its financial funding through the Université Européenne d'Eté 2002.




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