The chair Micro and Nano Systems focuses on research and development of silicon-based MEMS components and systems based on these components. Of particular interest are electrostatic actuators which operate with very small electrode gaps in the range of typically 300 nm. The simulation of such actuators provides the basic understanding of the electromechanical operating principle and the optimization of the electrode geometry in order to achieve a maximum force effect or a maximum travel.

For the production of the actuators micromechanical processes are used which allow to produce manifold actuator geometries and electrode distances in the range of less than 100 nm in typically 10 - 75 μm thick silicon layers.

In the characterization of the actuators the focus is on the determination of the electromechanical characteristic, the understanding of mesoscopic effects as well as on aspects of reliability.

A further key activity is the integration of electrostatic actuators to represent novel MEMS devices such as for example microspeakers, microvalves or micromanipulators. The following image illustrates the principle of a microspeaker based on electrostatic, laterally deformable microbeams.

The content-related work will be carried out in close cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS. Especially state-of-the-art processes for the production of micro- and nano-scaled actuators and sensors are available there. Extensive options for system integration are available at the Cottbus division of the Fraunhofer IPMS called Integrated Silicon Systems.

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