Discovery LearningCU-Boulder University of Colorado at Boulder
Discovery Learning Program CU College of Engineering

Integrated microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) will rival, and perhaps surpass, the societal impact of integrated circuits.  The MEMS-based tilt sensor allows an iPhone to sense its orientation.  The MEMS-based accelerometer enables a Wii to transfer a user’s swing into a tennis game.  Hundreds of exciting MEMS-enabled applications are expected to grow by orders of magnitude when NEMS technology becomes available.  The volume of a NEMS device is roughly 109 times smaller than that of a MEMS device.  

With support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and several industrial sponsors, iMINT conducts tightly integrated fundamental studies to establish a necessary knowledge base to facilitate the successful integration of nano-electromechancial systems (NEMS) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) with repeatable, predictable, and reliable performance.

current projects

Nano-Scaled Multilayer to Interconnect Nanowires
ALD-based multilayers consisting of Al2O3 and W coated over GaN nanowires are novel technologies to interconnect nanowires for various photonic, electronic and bio-sensing applications.

Graphene Graphene, a single-atom sheet, possesses superior mechanical, thermal, electrical and electronic properties and may be the best materials for future NEMS. iMINT researchers are studying graphene-based, nano-scale mechanical transistors and their associated fundamental issues.

“The iMINT Center hosts seminars that foster networking and discussions of state-of-the-art research with other scholars. This integration of the many facets of micro/nano-scale concepts has broadened my outlook of the field and enriched my graduate education here at CU.

―Chris Oshmann, PhD Student

Thin and Flexible Smart Phones or Microsystems iMINT researchers are developing enabling science and technology for thin and flexible smart phones or microsystems. Examples include: 1) atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes of 8-nm solid electrolyte to reduce Li-ion battery’s thickness by 10 times; 2) nano-meshes on a flexible circuit board to enhance its heat spreading by 100 times; and 3) ALD/MLD (molecular layer deposition)-based coatings to reduce hermetic seal’s thickness from 500 mm to 25 nm.


Y. C. Lee

Dan Fitzstephens