The resonant MEMS lab focuses on advancing innovations in micro/nanomechanical devices and systems for RF and environmental sensing applications.
MEMS Resonant Switch (“Resoswitch”)
The MEMS-based resonant switch technology solves spotty reliability and large actuation voltage that plague conventional MEMS-based switches while retaining low parasitics that transistor-based switches cannot beat.
Resoswitch-Enabled Zero-Quiescent Power Radio
A micromechanical resoswitch allows electrical power delivery to output by closing the gap. More importantly, it consumes no quiescent power while listening to incoming signal. In addition, it only responses to the input signal when the frequency matches its mechanical resonance frequency–just like a filter! A frequency-selective power amplifier has been demonstrated by employing a metal displacement-amplifying resoswitch in a switched-mode power amplifier circuit.
MEMS’ Trends—“What’s next for MEMS technology”, Yole Développement, Oct. 2013. [PDF]
Advanced Materials for High-Q Resonators
High resonator Quality factor helps to increase receive sensitivity of a resoswitch-based radio receiver, and the structural material property is one of the most important attributes of micromechanical resonant devices that determines Q. By innovating advanced materials, one can achieve high-Q low-cost resonant devices. A polysilicon-coated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) comb-driven folded-beam micromechanical resonator has been demonstrated, where the fabrication process eliminates the need for high-aspect ratio etching and long deposition time of polysilicon, and a in situ annealing technology is used to boost Q.
Integrated Self-Powered Sensors
An abundance of research have focused on piezoelectric resonant energy harvesting technology. If high efficiency energy harvesters become available, they can great increase the service lifetime of wireless sensors that await to employ them.
Sensors for Smart Manufacturing
Advanced sensors embedded in manufacturing tools enable real-time condition monitoring, thereby reducing tool downtime and improving productivity.