Micro-Optical MEMS, micro-mirros and pico-projectors
University of Malta – Department of Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics
The Department focuses on the design and prototype testing of integrated circuits and MEMS. ASIC design involves the following major areas: low-voltage, low-power analogue designs, RF CMOS circuits and embedded systems. The Department participates since 1994 in the EUROCHIP/EUROPRACTICE programme of the E.U., which gives access to design software and to silicon foundries in the E.U. Seat licences for software for ASIC design include Cadence Design Framework, Tanner Tools, Coware, Coventor and Mentor Graphics, together with a number of design kits for BiCMOS and CMOS technologies including AMS 0.8 um, AMS 0.6 um, AMS 0.35 um, UMC 180 nm and UMC 90 nm. The Department also has Xilinx FPGA design software and Matlab software, including Simulink, as well as MEMS design software Coventor and MEMS+ which are capable of FEM and symbolic simulation. The Department is currently involved in the design of 3-axis accelerometers, using ST THELMA process. The department also has access to MEMS foundry processes included in the EUROPRACTICE framework such as TRONICS, POLYMUMPS and METALMUMPS. The Department has published around 80 papers in these areas in international refereed journals and conferences. The Department facilities include a Test Station for functional and parametric testing of prototypes of analogue, digital and mixed-mode ASICs and MEMS, and extensive RF equipment. The latter comprises a Network Analyzer, complete with RF source, synthesized sweeper, s-parameter test-set, and calibration kit; a noise figure meter with 18 GHz range, spectrum analyser as well as ASIC / MEMS probing station including a temperature controlled chamber capable of a temperature range from -60 to 200 ºC. The Department participated from 2004 to 2008 in FP6 Integrated Project SENSATION, where it was involved in the design of a body area network, capable of interfacing various biomedical microsensors to a central device via wireless communication.
UoM participated in LAB4MEMS2 and contributed to the design of a piezoelectric RF MEMS variable capacitor and AMR magnetometer test structures. UoM was also involved in the modeling of packaging processes for MEMS devices. Furthermore, UoM contributed to the characterisation and testing of the finished MEMS products. Through this project as well as with additional EU ERDF funding, UoM expanded its MEMS characterisation facilities as detailed at
Main role in the project:
In WP2, UoM is contributing in the design and optimisation of single and dual-axis micro-mirrors, utilising different actuation methodologies which are targeted for pico-projector and micro-scanner applications. As part of WP3, UoM will focus on the finite element (FE) numerical techniques enabling the simulation of electrostatic and electromagnetic micro-mirror actuation with a focus on fluid damping mechanisms. UoM is also involved in WP4, where the design and construction of an in-house MOEMS characterisation facility will provide the scanning and dynamic display performance measurements of the fabricated micro-mirror prototypes. In WP5, UoM is contributing in the validation of the KET-pilot line technologies. UoM is also involved in WP6, whose aim is to elaborate and coordinate a plan of dissemination, exploitation and standardisation.
Prof. Joseph Micallef
Prof. Ivan Grech
Dr Owen Casha