Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems _NSF00-137r_ by yaofenjin


									                        Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems

                        The University of Michigan (lead institution)

                        Integrated microsystems for widely-distributed information gathering
                        and control
                        This Engineering Research Center is focused on
                        miniature low-cost integrated microsystems capable of
                        measuring (or controlling) a variety of physical
                        parameters, interpreting the data, and communicating
                        with a host system over a bi-directional wireless link.
                        As such, the Center addresses the intersection of
                        microelectronics, wireless communications, and
                        microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The
                        resulting devices are expected to become pervasive in
A National              society during the next two decades, extending the
Science Foundation      electronic connectivity now represented by personal
Engineering             communications and the worldwide web to information          A 92MHz micromechanical filter: negligible power in
Research Center         provided directly by (or supplied to) the environment.       very little space.
since 2000              Such systems will provide button-sized information-
                        gathering nodes for applications ranging from environ-       sources, process technology, circuit limits, wireless
                        mental monitoring (weather, global change, air and           power-range tradeoffs, and size. The thrusts are being
                        water quality) to improved health care (wearable and         coordinated by focusing them on two application
                        implantable biomedical systems). They will consist of a      testbed systems: an rf-powered implantable
                        power source, software, an embedded micro-controller,        microsystem (initially a cochlear prosthesis for the
                        a hardwired or wireless interface to the external world,     profoundly deaf, with subsequent extension to devices
                        and front-end microinstruments selected for the              for treating epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease); and a
                        intended application. Operating at less than 100µW,          battery-powered environmental monitoring system
                        they will occupy volumes as small as 1cc and communi-        capable of gas analysis as well as the measurement of
Partner Institutions:   cate over distances from a few inches to a few miles.        barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and other
                                                                                     variables. Each of these testbeds is aimed at achieving
• Michigan State        Research                                                     a significant breakthrough in its own right while
  University                                                                         emphasizing the challenges that will be found in
                        Center research is organized in four thrusts, dealing
                        with micropower circuits, wireless interfaces, sensors       microsystems generally.
• Michigan
  Technological         and microinstruments, and micropackaging. These
                                                                                     The size, range, and operating lifetime of wireless
  University            efforts are extending existing micropower circuit
                                                                                     microsystems are strongly dependent on the power
                        techniques and sensor-driven controller architectures,
                        developing single-chip communication transceivers            sources required to run them. While batteries are
                                                                                     slowly improving, substantial improvements in system
                        based on micromechanics, exploring a variety of self-
                        testing microinstruments (including chemical, mechani-       performance appear possible through lower-power
                        cal, and thermal devices), and developing hermetic           circuit techniques that may also make the use of
                                                                                     renewable energy sources (e.g., solar) viable. Efforts
                        wafer-level packaging using deposited thin films and
                        vacuum-sealed cavities. The goal is to develop               are focusing on the use of low-voltage deep-submicron
                        systems that are rapidly configurable, reconfigurable,       technology to achieve high functionality at very low
                        and self-testing and to define their fundamental limits in
                        the face of conflicting constraints imposed by power

                                                                                     An integrated gas chromatograph for an environ-
                        Architecture for a wireless integrated microsystem.          mental monitoring microsystem.
power. The challenges are not only in low-          training future engineers. A series of              Center Configuration, Leadership,
voltage mixed-signal circuits but also in           courses, facilitating an M.Eng. degree in           Team Structure
areas such as self-test, noise suppression,         integrated microsystems, is being developed         The Center involves faculty from most
active power management, and digital                jointly by all three partnering universities.       engineering disciplines as well as from
sensor compensation. The use of in-module           These courses involve extensive multimedia
                                                                                                        computer science, chemistry, public health,
data interpretation (increasing power               use and shared virtual laboratory experi-           and medicine. The efforts of these faculty
dissipation in the controller) must be weighed      ences facilitated via distance learning             members are focused by the research
against the power required for wireless data        technology. The courses will be fine-tuned
                                                                                                        testbeds mentioned above. The Center
transmission. The fundamental power-range           across Michigan and then offered nationally.        Director and Deputy Director are from the
requirements must also be better under-             On-going seminars are being shared across           University of Michigan, with Associate
stood, taking advantage of MEMS-based               campuses and industrial sites that highlight
                                                                                                        Directors from Michigan State and Michigan
antenna structures and micropower MEMS              the pervasive societal implications of these        Tech. These individuals, together with the
resonators for filtering and frequency              microsystems along with technical advances.         Administrative Director, the Associate
                                                    Industrial Collaboration/                           Director for Industrial Programs, the
                                                                                                        Associate Director for Education, and the
In the neural prosthesis testbed, flexible          Technology Transfer                                 research thrust leaders, form the Manage-
electrode arrays containing site-selection
                                                    Solving societal problems requires that             ment Committee for the Center. The Center
electronics are being developed along with          technical developments be applied in                Director reports directly to the Dean of
active measurement and control of array             products. Thus, technology transfer and             Engineering.
position in the cochlea. Subsequent efforts
                                                    industrial partnerships are critically impor-
will address the development of fully               tant. An industrial partnership program has
implantable microsystems capable of                 been established for the Center that involves
electrically recording neural activity and
                                                    leading companies in microelectronics,
precisely delivering electrical and chemical        MEMS, and wireless communications,
stimuli at the cellular level to address            including companies from the automotive,
neurological disorders at point of need. The
                                                    environmental, and medical fields. These
centerpiece of the initial environmental            companies participate in the Executive
system is an integrated gas chromatography          Committee and Industrial Advisory Board of
system operating at 1mW in 1cc and
                                                    the Center, helping set directions and
detecting over 40 specific gases from the           determine policies in both education and
EPA’s air toxics list with 10-100 part-per-         research. Named student scholarships and
billion sensitivity. This device requires a high-
                                                    internships in industry as well as visiting
efficiency preconcentrator, a multi-valve           industrial positions at the university are being
sampling system, and an integrated vacuum           used to facilitate technology transfer through
pump. The transport and surface interactions
                                                    personnel exchanges. Recognizing that the
of microscale samples are being explored.           missing link in many technology transfer
Deposited thin-film coatings for corrosion          efforts is the ability to generate prototypes for
protection and micromolding using advanced
                                                    evaluation by industry, the Center is also
milling techniques are candidate approaches         dedicating both personnel and facilities to
to micropackaging here along with                   producing such devices, ensuring that the
microassembly techniques at the chip level.
                                                    results of its research are translated into
Education                                           products that benefit society.

The multidisciplinary nature of this research       Facilities
is an ideal basis for making a significant
                                                    The Center makes use of state-of-the-art
impact on engineering education. At the             facilities for the fabrication of microsystems
high-school level, the Center is developing a       and associated devices, including the
set of teaching aids using MEMS to illustrate
                                                    14,000sf Class 10/100 Solid-State Fabrica-
basic principles in physics and chemistry           tion Facility at the University of Michigan.
along with their applications in health care        This facility supports a full range of micro-
and environmental monitoring. Working with
                                                    structure, device, and circuit fabrication
science coordinators, summer training               techniques and has pioneered MEMS                   Center Headquarters
programs for teachers are facilitating delivery     development for over two decades.
to the students, with the goal of significantly
                                                    Michigan State adds important facilities for
increasing the number of young people               new materials (e.g., diamond), while                Center for Wireless Integrated MicroSystems
pursuing careers in science and engineering.        Michigan Tech adds capabilities for non-            The University of Michigan
These outreach activities include special                                                               2401 EECS Building
                                                    lithographic material processing and high-
efforts with underrepresented minority              resolution micromilling. Very large scale           1301 Beal Avenue
students, selected in part through a                micropower circuit fabrication is being carried     Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2122
partnership with DAPCEP (the Detroit Area                                                               Homepage:
                                                    out in facilities made available by our
Pre-College Engineering Program). At the            industrial partners. All three schools have
undergraduate and graduate university               extensive facilities for distance learning,         Center Director: Dr. Kensall D. Wise
levels, the ability to mix students with                                                                (734) 764-3346 •
                                                    which permit interactive networking of both
different backgrounds in team-oriented              research and educational efforts.
research is, we believe, absolutely critical in                                                         Deputy Director: Dr. Khalil Najafi
                                                                                                        (734) 763-6650 •

                                                                                                        Administrative Director: Ms. Karen Richardson
                                                                                                        (734) 647-1779 •

                                                                                                        NSF 00-137r

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