Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Fused Silica Microsensors, Microactuators, Packaging, and Microsystems

Technology #5196

Challenges In Manufacturing MEMS Inertial Measurement Units

MEMS inertial measurement units (IMUs) are currently manufactured using hybrid integration at the system level. While co-fabrication of components has been proposed, it has yet to produce a useful implementation of IMUs. Major challenges include large component size, inadequate performance, device coupling, and conflicting process and package requirements for accelerometers, gyroscopes and timing units.

University of Michigan’s Technology For Manufacturing MEMS Inertial Measurement Units

Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed a manufacturing technology called PAckage of Silica for Timing and Inertial Measurement or PASTIME that overcomes the above challenges. PASTIME leverages fused silica for the manufacture of complete and fully-integrated microsystems—sensors, actuators, microdevices, and packaging.

PASTIME represents the first single-chip, all-inclusive timing-inertial system fabricated completely using fused silica, a material known for its robustness and excellent material properties. Under the PASTIME regime, sensors and actuators can be fabricated either directly from fused silica (FS), or on top of FS acting as a substrate and supporting material.

Applications

  • MEMS inertial measurement units
  • Optical sensors and devices
  • Piezoelectric devices

Advantages

  • Ease of manufacturing

    • Entire system fabricated using fused silica (FS) or quartz
    • Modular packaging

  • Single or multiple FS layers in one integrated package

    • Multiple navigation-grade sensors, actuators, and resonators on every layer
    • Support for heterogeneous and diverse layer materials
    • Varied layer thicknesses to optimize sensor/resonator performance
    • Optimized pressure levels for different sensors