Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (commonly known as MEMS) technologies and devices have enabled the miniaturization of a number of instruments such as chip-scale atomic clocks, lab-on- chip biological and chemical assays, gas and chemical monitoring systems, radiation detectors, chip-scale radios and communication microsystems, inertial navigation systems, and a host of other devices for consumer and commercial products have been demonstrated. These portable, low power, and potentially low-cost chip-scale instruments will create new markets and applications. Inertial navigation systems combining acceleration and angular rate sensors (gyroscopes) have, in particular, made impressive progress. The performance of gyroscopes, signified by the smallest detectable rate of turn, has improved ~2x every year since 1988! This talk will review the state-of-the-art in micromachined angular rate sensors, and will review research conducted at Michigan aimed at understanding fundamental limits and advancing technological innovations to further improve performance. Advances in new device structures, readout circuits, fabrication technologies, and environment-resistant packaging will allow next- generation gyroscopes achieve a resolution of 0.01 degree/hour (>1000x smaller that Earth’s angular rotation!) using a chip-scale inertial instrument with a volume <0.5cc.
Khalil Najafi is the Schlumberger Professor of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He served as the Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan from September 2008 to September 2018, as the Director of the Solid-State Electronics Laboratory from 1998-2005, the deputy director of the NSF ERC on Wireless Integrated Microsystems (WIMS) from 2000-2009, and the director of NSF’s National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) 2004-2015. He received the B.S., M.S., and the Ph.D. degrees in 1980, 1981, and 1986 respectively, all in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research interests include: micromachining technologies, micromachined sensors, actuators, and MEMS; analog integrated circuits; implantable biomedical microsystems; hermetic and vacuum packaging; and low-power wireless sensing/actuating systems; inertial sensing systems. Dr. Najafi has been active in the field of solid-state sensors and actuators for thirty five years. He has been involved in several conferences and workshops dealing with micro sensors, actuators, and microsystems and has served as associate editor or editor of several journals. He received the IEEE Daniel E. Noble Technical Field Award in 2015 and the IEEE Sensors Council Technical Achievement Award in 2013 for “For leadership in microsystem technologies and seminal contributions to inertial sensors and hermetic wafer-level packaging.” He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the AIBME.