Science and Technology of Micro-machines
Engineering Science 65 -- Fall 1995
Thayer School of Engineering -- Dartmouth College


Lectures: TuTh10:00-11:50; X-hour W3:00-4:05 105 Cummings
Text: To Be Determined

Principal Reserves:

Course Instructor: Prof. Albert K. Henning
Office: 217D Cummings
Phone: 646-3671

Laboratory Staff: Dr. Christopher G. Levey
Office: 217F Cummings
Phone: 646-2071

Mosaic Address:

Intellectual Focus: The science and technology of micro-structure design and fabrication are introduced and explored in detail. Lectures and homework assignments will emphasize physical and chemical phenomena related to micro-fabrication. Laboratories during the first half of the course will reinforce lectures by emphasizing the basics of micro-fabrication technology, such as thin film growth and deposition, photolithography, wet and dry (plasma) chemical etching, and materials characterization and evaluation. These initial lab exercises will use the facilities of the Solid State Microfabrication Laboratory. In the latter half of the course, a group design project is required, wherein students in groups of two will design their own micro-machines using available CAD tools. Designs will subsequently be sent to the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) foundry service for fabrication. Upon return from MCNC, students will test and evaluate their designs; grades will not be reported until this task is completed.

Topics related to chemistry include: semiconductor crystal growth; epitaxial film deposition; oxidation and nitridation of semiconductors; photoresist chemistry; wet chemical and dry plasma etching of semiconductors, metals and insulators; and thin film vapor deposition of these materials. Topics related to physics include: optics related to small structure definition; ion implantation; point defect theory, dopant diffusion processes and mechanisms; and electrical device behavior. Both surface and bulk micro-machining will be studied in detail. Processes beyond the usual semiconductor microelectronic processes -- such as the LIGA process, combining electron beam lithography and electrodeposition -- will also be presented. As much as possible, the context of these micro-machining processes, as manifested by products such as micro-sensors and micro-actuators, will be emphasized.

Concurrent with classroom work, students will design a micro-machine of their own design, following the design rules specified by the MCNC process. These designs will be sent to MCNC for fabrication. Upon their return during the Winter quarter, students will complete their coursework by testing their designs, using the micro-characterization facilities of the Solid State Lab.


: Readings will be assigned from the texts. Additional source books are available on reserve in Feldberg Library, or from my office collection. Please treat all library materials with the respect they deserve, knowing that other students count on them as well.


Homework should be done neatly and legibly. Homework will tend to anticipate lecture material, as well as cover material already presented. There is no penalty for late homework; however, it will not be accepted later than one week after the initial due date. You are encouraged to work together on homework; but, remember to acknowledge any help you receive.

Computing Environment

: This course will make use of both Macintosh and UWE (Unix Workstation Environment) resources for analytical, numerical, and CAD work. Layout tools such as magic and L-Edit will be introduced and used extensively. Process simulation tools such as SUPREM-III, SUPREM-IV, and FLOOPS will be utilized.

Laboratories, and Design Project Presentation/Report:

To explicate the theoretical principles discussed in class, a variety of laboratory exercises will be carried out in the Solid State Microfabrication Lab in Room 223 Cummings. This clean room facility has been designed for both teaching and research in the area of microelectronics and microstructures. Students will be trained in the principles underlying safe use of all chemicals and equipment found in the lab. They will then proceed, over the ten-week period of the course, to fabricate the devices, making physical and electrical measurements to characterize their progress.

The keystone of the course is the final project. In groups of roughly four, sttudents will define and execute the design of a micro-machine project. Design activities will rely on the processes developed in Engineering Sciences 21 -- Introduction to Engineering. This design will then be submitted to the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, for fabrication using their Multi-User Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) Process. MUMPs is subsidized by ARPA, the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. A final presentation and report will complete the work of the course during the winter quarter. Once MCNC has completed the microfabrication process, devices will be returned for testing at Dartmouth. Final grades will not be assigned until the devices are evaluated, and a concluding report is submitted.