logo SBA


Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-04172010-100252

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Thesis title
Enhancements of MEMS design flow for Automotive and Optoelectronic applications
Academic discipline
Course of study
tutor Prof. Fanucci, Luca
relatore Prof. Saletti, Roberto
  • automotive
  • design flow
  • gyroscope
  • MEMS
  • MEMS layout
  • MEMS model
  • micromirror
  • optoelectronic
Graduation session start date
In the latest years we have been witnesses of a very rapidly and amazing grown of MicroElectroMechanical systems (MEMS) which nowadays represent the outstanding state-of-the art in a wide variety of applications from automotive to commercial, biomedical and optical (MicroOptoElectroMechanicalSystems).
The increasing success of MEMS is found in their high miniaturization capability, thus allowing an easy integration with electronic circuits, their low manufacturing costs (that comes directly from low unit pricing and indirectly from cutting service and maintaining costs) and low power consumption.
With the always growing interest around MEMS devices the necessity arises for MEMS designers to define a MEMS design flow. Indeed it is widely accepted that in any complex engineering design process, a well defined and documented design flow or procedure is vital.
The top-level goal of a MEMS/MOEMS design flow is to enable complex engineering design in the shortest time and with the lowest number of fabrication iterations, preferably only one. These two characteristics are the measures of a good flow, because they translate directly to the industry-desirable reductions of the metrics “time to market” and “costs”.
Like most engineering flows, the MEMS design flow begins with the product definition that generally involves a feasibility study and the elaboration of the device specifications. Once the MEMS specifications are set, a Finite Element Method (FEM) model is developed in order to study its physical behaviour and to extract the characteristic device parameters. These latter are used to develop a high level MEMS model which is necessary to the design of the sensor read out electronics. Once the MEMS geometry is completely defined and matches the device specifications, the device layout must be generated, and finally the MEMS sensor is fabricated.
In order to have a MEMS sensor working according to specifications at first production run is essential that the MEMS design flow is as close as possible to the optimum design flow.
The key factors in the MEMS design flow are the development of a sensor model as close as possible to the real device and the layout realization. This research work addresses these two aspects by developing optimized custom tools (a tool for layout check (LVS) and a tool for parasitic capacitances extraction) and new methodologies (a methodology for post layout simulations) which support the designer during the crucial steps of the design process as well as by presenting the models of two cases studies belonging to leading MEMS applications (a micromirror for laser projection system and a control loop for the shock immunity enhancement in gyroscopes for automotive applications).