X-Message-Number: 39
From arpa!Xerox.COM!merkle.pa Thu Nov 17 14:38:52 PST 1988
Received: from Cabernet.ms by ArpaGateway.ms ; 17 NOV 88 14:38:54 PST
Date: Thu, 17 Nov 88 14:38:52 PST
Subject: Talk on microstructures at IBM Almaden
Message-ID: <>
Status: RO

This is probably only of interest to people in the silicon valley area --
though the general fact that research in this area is continuing might well
be of broader interest.  Any way, here it is:

Prof. R. S. Muller, Co-director, Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center,
University of California at Berkeley

Stor. Sys. and Tech. Sem.   Mon., Nov. 23   10:30 A.M.   Room: Audit.

Prospects for new microsystems have been aroused by the demonstration of
electrically powered motors having rotors a tenth mm in diameter.  These
devices belong to a new class of mechanical structures made by
micromachining silicon single-crystal substrates or other materials that
are either part of conventional IC processing or else produced
compatibly with planar technology.  These precisely fabricated
structures make possible high-performance sensors and actuators when
combined with on-chip circuits and portend a new class of microsystems
that may have revolutionary impact on engineering design.  An especially
powerful technique derived from IC processing is to employ
polycrystalline silicon as a mechanical material in which
microstructures are freed from the substrate by oxide etching -- a
procedure that avoids the need for anisotropic etchants.  This
technology was first demonstrated as a means to produce rotating and
sliding structures, gears, and springs and lately, to make micro-motors.
Active thin films that can function as stress transducers or as
actuating motors (through the piezoelectric effect), or as heat sensors
(through the pyroelectric effect) can also be fabricated together with
silicon IC's.  The very promising prospects offered by these techniques
are illustrated by some of the structures that have been built or are
currently under study.  Research on the mechanical properties of
materials and on the scaling of mechanical design, as well as on the
effective uses of computer aids, is needed to provide the engineering
base that will make it possible to exploit fully this technology.
Host: H. H. Zappe

For further information on individual talks, please contact the host
listed above.

Visitors, please arrive 15 minutes early.  IBM's new Almaden Research
Center (ARC) is located adjacent to Santa Teresa County Park, between
Almaden Expressway and U.S. 101, about 10 miles south of Interstate
280.  From U.S. 101, exit at Bernal Road, and follow Bernal Road west
past Santa Teresa Blvd.  into the hills (ignoring the left turn for
Santa Teresa Park).  Alternatively, follow Almaden Expressway to its
southern terminus, turn left onto Harry Road, then go right at the ARC
entrance (about a quarter of a mile later) and go up the hill.  For
more detailed directions, please phone the ARC receptionist at (408)

IBM Almaden Research Center electronically distributes both its
complete calendar of seminars and a subset of Computer Science
seminars only.  Send requests for inclusion in either electronic
mailing list to  (CALENDAR at ALMVMA on VNET or
BITNET), specifying either the complete calendar or the Computer
Science subset.

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