PiezoMEMS is a relatively new field of research that involves integration of piezoelectric thin films in a conventional MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) process. Variety of new devices including inkjet devices, biomedical devices, energy harvesters, sensors, optical devices and next generation RF filters for 5G telecommunication are beginning to emerge using this new technology. However, the properties of piezoelectric thin films used in these devices are not well known and these properties can vary a lot depending upon the deposition conditions used in making the films. An inherent difficulty in characterizing piezoelectric thin films arises from the mechanical interaction of the film with the substrate which is needed to support the film. In this talk, I will give an overview of PiezoMEMS technology with focus on microfluidic devices and also present some of our own results on the characterization of piezo thin films.
Dr. S. Subramanian started his early career at the Solid State Electronics Group, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, in the field of GaAs and other related III-V compounds. He moved to the United States in the early nineties and taught Electrical Engineering at Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR. During this time, he also conducted research on III-V Heterojunction and Quantum Well devices with special focus on radiation reliability of these devices. After working in the academia for a number of years he moved to Hewlett Packard, Corvallis, where he worked on Thermal Inkjet devices, high voltage LDMOS devices and SPICE modelling of various electronic and MEMS devices using Hardware Description Languages (VHDL-AMS, Verilog-AMS, etc.). During the last five years he has been active in the field of thin film piezo MEMS technology for inkjet devices. He has also actively collaborated with a number of universities and companies including Penn State University, Oregon State University, Washington State University and aixACCT GmbH, Germany.