Advanced Materials, Processes, and Packaging
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Successful development of MEMS and microsystems requires a number of technologies for their fabrication, assembly, and low-cost packaging. Integration of new materials is especially critical for both sensing and packaging, and dictates cost, environmental compatibility or biocompatibility, long-term reliability, and manufacturing yield of many microsystems. Techniques that are compatible with wafer-level fabrication, low-temperature processing, vacuum and hermetic encapsulation, and standard MEMS post-fabrication approaches are needed. Many challenges remain, particularly with respect to material diversity and package integration. The research projects include topics in four general areas: wafer-scale bonding and vacuum packaging; assembly, interconnect, and related thin-film technologies; etching and deposition methods for new materials and exploratory applications; and mechanical protection and thermal issues.