Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, commonly referred to as MEMS, are devices characterised by both mechanical and electrical properties. These systems have been an area of intense research and development over the last few decades and their impact can be seen in a wide range of applications.
One of the simplest and best known MEMS devices is the accelerometer. This device uses the principles of inertia to sense acceleration and was one of the first MEMS devices to be commercialised. The accelerometer works by detecting changes in capacitance between a moving mass and a fixed electrode, which are then converted into an electrical signal.
Since the commercialisation of the accelerometer, many other types of MEMS devices have been developed and are now available on the market. These include gyroscopes, micromirrors, pressure sensors, microphones, real-time clocks and many others. In addition, several other types of MEMS devices are being developed, such as magnetometers, energy harvesters and MEMS for photonics.
MEMS devices have also been widely used to modulate the magnetic signal in magnetoresistive sensors. The integration of MEMS with magnetic elements can enable new applications in magnonics and spintronics, and enhance existing applications such as micro-mirrors and micro-speakers.
Overall, the development and advancement of MEMS technology has opened up many new possibilities in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to aerospace. MEMS devices have enabled greater accuracy and precision in measurements, improved control in microelectronic systems, and facilitated the creation of more sophisticated and intelligent sensors and actuators. As research and development in this field continues, the potential applications of MEMS devices are virtually limitless.