MEMS Positioning Stages

Lead Faculty Researcher: Placid Ferreira (MechSE, Illinois)
Lead Faculty Researcher:
Placid Ferreira, MechSE, Illinois

Nanoscale positioning and registration are fundamental to manufacturing at the nanoscale. Current nanomanufacturing processes are limited by a number of factors:

  • It is difficult to transfer a dimensional scale with nanometer precision
  • Existing tools have limited real estate – sensors and transducers are difficult to integrate into active areas
  • Current processes require isolated and enclosed process chambers and spaces that are difficult to access
  • Scaling of sensors and actuators to have large scale parallelism is not possible with existing sensors and positioners

The Center is developing MEMS scale positioning stages based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology for the nanoscale precision, speed and control needed for manufacturing integration of e-jet, direct ink write and other Center processes.  The Center is developing controllable X, Y and Z stages and self-calibrating dual axis positioning systems.

We has developed an innovative method of simultaneous actuation and sensing the displacement produced by a capacitive or electrostatic actuator.  This is achieved by a dual separation frequency control approach in which a high frequency (much higher than the mechanical cut-off frequency of the actuated structure) is superimposed on the actuation signal.

For more information on this research, please download the full description.