MEMS and Nanotechnology
SmallTech is a consulting company specializing in MEMS and Nanotechnology. Following is a brief description of some aspects of and applications in these important and fascinating fields.
Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Nanotechnology are both terms that have a fairly specific technical definition, and a more general, popular definition referring primarily to size, i.e. micro-scale and nano-scale devices, materials or systems. The specific size referred to comes from the metric system, where when applied to meters, micro is 1-millionth (10-6) of a meter, and nano is 1-billionth (10-9) of a meter. To put these sizes in perspective, 1 nanometer is:
- the length of 10 hydrogen atoms
- 1/100,000 the diameter of a human hair
- 1/10,000 the length visible to the human eye
- 10 Angstroms, the unit used to measure distances between atoms in molecules
More specific technical definitions are:
MEMS is the integration of a number of microcomponents on a single chip which allows the microsystem to both sense and control the environment. The components typically include microelectronic integrated circuits (the “brains”), sensors (the “senses” and “nervous system”), and actuators (the “hands” and “arms”). The components are typically integrated on a single chip using microfabrication technologies similar to those used for integrated circuits.
Nanotechnology takes advantage of the observation that at the nanoscale,
properties of materials change. Nanotechnology is that array of technologies
that use properties of materials that are unique to structures at the nanoscale.
To us at SmallTech, applying MEMS and Nanotechnology means the very practical business of making small and useful devices and systems to fill real business and consumer needs. These systems, devices, and materials can be used:
- To advance biomedical applications – aiding in detecting and curing diseases.
- In advanced energy systems – stretching the world's resources and reducing pollution.
- In security systems, making the world a little bit safer.
- In consumer applications, such as in the big business of "just
for fun" – taking
television and entertainment to new levels.
What is MEMS?
What is Nanotechnology?