Proceedings PaperMEMS- and NEMS-based complex adaptive smart devices and systems
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The microelectronics industry has seen explosive growth during the last thirty years. Extremely large markets for logic and memory devices have driven the development of new materials, and technologies for the fabrication of even more complex devices with feature sizes now down at the sub micron and nanometer level. Recent interest has arisen in employing these materials, tools and technologies for the fabrication of miniature sensors and actuators and their integration with electronic circuits to produce smart devices and systems. This effort offers the promise of: 1) increasing the performance and manufacturability of both sensors and actuators by exploiting new batch fabrication processes developed including micro stereo lithographic and micro molding techniques; 2) developing novel classes of materials and mechanical structures not possible previously, such as diamond like carbon, silicon carbide and carbon nanotubes, micro-turbines and micro-engines; 3) development of technologies for the system level and wafer level integration of micro components at the nanometer precision, such as self-assembly techniques and robotic manipulation; 4) development of control and communication systems for MEMS devices, such as optical and RF wireless, and power delivery systems, etc. A novel composite structure can be tailored by functionalizing carbon nanotubes and chemically bonding them with the polymer matrix e.g. block or graft copolymer, or even cross-linked copolymer, to impart exceptional structural, electronic and surface properties. Bio- and mechanical-MEMS devices derived from this hybrid composite provide a new avenue for future smart systems.