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Microelectromechanical Devices

Micromachines, or microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), are small, movable structures created using integrated circuit technology. Processes that fabricate microelectronic chips, such as lithography, etching and deposition, are used to create movable MEMS components in the um or nm scale on a semiconductor wafer. The small size, quick response time, high sensitivity and low cost of MEMS have made them a compelling choice for a variety of applications. For instance, micromachined sensors are nowadays widely used in automobiles for detecting acceleration and deploying airbags. Apart from the obvious commercial value of MEMS, their high sensitivity and functionality offer unique capabilities for carrying out fundamental physics experiments. Prof. Chan’s research group uses micromechanical devices as sensitive force detectors, e.g. in Casimir force measurements and in magnetometry. Fundamental fluctuation induced phenomena in micromechanical oscillators are also investigated.

Casimir effect in microelectromechanical systems

Fluctuation induced switching in nonequilibrium micromechanical oscillators

Double layer subwavelength metallic structures

Micromechanical devices for dc and pulsed field magnetometry

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