Special Issue "3D Printing of MEMS Technology"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "E:Engineering and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Andrea Ehrmann
Website
Guest Editor
Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Institute for Technical Energy Systems (ITES), Interaktion 1, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany
Interests: magnetism; spintronics; optics; biopolymers; electrospinning; dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs); smart textiles

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

3D printing belongs to the emerging technologies of our time. While previously mostly used for rapid prototyping, the technology has long entered rapid production, especially for complicated objects or small lot sizes. Most recently, new 3D printing technologies enable printing smallest features on micro- or even nano-scales. At the same time, well-known problems like the waviness of fused deposition modeling (FDM) printed parts, the missing long-term stability of some typical printing materials or reduced mechanical properties of 3D printed objects still exist.

This special issue focusses on all topics dealing with 3D printing of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), such as new or advanced features enabled by 3D printing as compared to conventional technologies, but also the still existent challenges of using 3D printing technologies for MEMS and new approaches how to overcome them.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Ehrmann
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3D printed nanostructures and nano-composites for application in MEMS
  • Lab-on-a-chip devices
  • Microfluidics
  • Microelectronics
  • Micro-batteries and other energy storage devices
  • Micro- and nano-sensors and –actuators (physical, chemical, biological)
  • Challenges and possible solutions of using 3D printing technologies for MEMS
  • Similar approaches related to 3D printing of MEMS technology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
The Fabrication of Micro Beam from Photopolymer by Digital Light Processing 3D Printing Technology
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050518 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
3D printing has lately received considerable critical attention for the fast fabrication of 3D structures to be utilized in various industrial applications. This study aimed to fabricate a micro beam with digital light processing (DLP) based 3D printing technology. Compound technology and essential [...] Read more.
3D printing has lately received considerable critical attention for the fast fabrication of 3D structures to be utilized in various industrial applications. This study aimed to fabricate a micro beam with digital light processing (DLP) based 3D printing technology. Compound technology and essential coefficients of the 3D printing operation were applied. To observe the success of the DLP method, it was compared with another fabrication method, called projection micro-stereolithography (PμSL). Evaluation experiments showed that the 3D printer could print materials with smaller than 86.7 µm dimension properties. The micro beam that moves in one direction (y-axis) was designed using the determined criteria. Though the same design was used for the DLP and PμSL methods, the supporting structures were not manufactured with PμSL. The micro beam was fabricated by removing the supports from the original design in PμSL. Though 3 μm diameter supports could be produced with the DLP, it was not possible to fabricate them with PμSL. Besides, DLP was found to be better than PμSL for the fabrication of complex, non-symmetric support structures. The presented results in this study demonstrate the efficiency of 3D printing technology and the simplicity of manufacturing a micro beam using the DLP method with speed and high sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of MEMS Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
Thin-Film MEMS Resistors with Enhanced Lifetime for Thermal Inkjet
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050499 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
In this paper, the failure mechanisms of the thermal inkjet thin-film resistors are recognized. Additionally, designs of resistors to overcome these mechanisms are suggested and tested by simulation and experiment. The resulting resistors are shown to have improved lifetimes, spanning an order of [...] Read more.
In this paper, the failure mechanisms of the thermal inkjet thin-film resistors are recognized. Additionally, designs of resistors to overcome these mechanisms are suggested and tested by simulation and experiment. The resulting resistors are shown to have improved lifetimes, spanning an order of magnitude up to 2 × 109 pulses. The thermal failure mechanisms were defined according to the electric field magnitude in three critical points—the resistor center, the resistor–conductor edge, and the resistor thermal “hot spots”. Lowering the thermal gradients between these points will lead to the improved lifetime of the resistors. Using MATLAB PDE simulations, various resistors shapes, with different electric field ratios in the hot spots, were designed and manufactured on an 8″ silicon wafer. A series of lifetime experiments were conducted on the resistors, and a strong relation between the shape and the lifetime of the resistor was found. These results have immediate ramifications regarding the different printing apparatuses which function with thermal inkjet technology, allowing the commercial production of larger thermal printheads with high MTBF rate. Such heads may fit fast and large 3D printers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of MEMS Technology)
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Open AccessArticle
On-Substrate Joule Effect Heating by Printed Micro-Heater for the Preparation of ZnO Semiconductor Thin Film
Micromachines 2020, 11(5), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11050490 - 10 May 2020
Abstract
Fabrication of printed electronic devices along with other parts such as supporting structures is a major problem in modern additive fabrication. Solution-based inkjet printing of metal oxide semiconductor usually requires a heat treatment step to facilitate the formation of target material. The employment [...] Read more.
Fabrication of printed electronic devices along with other parts such as supporting structures is a major problem in modern additive fabrication. Solution-based inkjet printing of metal oxide semiconductor usually requires a heat treatment step to facilitate the formation of target material. The employment of external furnace introduces additional complexity in the fabrication scheme, which is supposed to be simplified by the additive manufacturing process. This work presents the fabrication and utilization of micro-heater on the same thermal resistive substrate with the printed precursor pattern to facilitate the formation of zinc oxide (ZnO) semiconductor. The ultraviolet (UV) photodetector fabricated by the proposed scheme was successfully demonstrated. The performance characterization of the printed devices shows that increasing input heating power can effectively improve the electrical properties owing to a better formation of ZnO. The proposed approach using the on-substrate heating element could be useful for the additive manufacturing of functional material by eliminating the necessity of external heating equipment, and it allows in-situ annealing for the printed semiconductor. Hence, the integration of the printed electronic device with printing processes of other materials could be made possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of MEMS Technology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperPerspective
3D Printed MEMS Technology—Recent Developments and Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(4), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11040434 - 20 Apr 2020
Abstract
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are of high interest for recent electronic applications. Their applications range from medicine to measurement technology, from microfluidics to the Internet of Things (IoT). In many cases, MEMS elements serve as sensors or actuators, e.g., in recent mobile phones, but [...] Read more.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are of high interest for recent electronic applications. Their applications range from medicine to measurement technology, from microfluidics to the Internet of Things (IoT). In many cases, MEMS elements serve as sensors or actuators, e.g., in recent mobile phones, but also in future autonomously driving cars. Most MEMS elements are based on silicon, which is not deformed plastically under a load, as opposed to metals. While highly sophisticated solutions were already found for diverse MEMS sensors, actuators, and other elements, MEMS fabrication is less standardized than pure microelectronics, which sometimes blocks new ideas. One of the possibilities to overcome this problem may be the 3D printing approach. While most 3D printing technologies do not offer sufficient resolution for MEMS production, and many of the common 3D printing materials cannot be used for this application, there are still niches in which the 3D printing of MEMS enables producing new structures and thus creating elements for new applications, or the faster and less expensive production of common systems. Here, we give an overview of the most recent developments and applications in 3D printing of MEMS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing of MEMS Technology)
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