• Michael Huff
Part of the Microsystems and Nanosystems book series (MICRONANO)


Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter and begins with a brief history of semiconductor-based technologies starting with vacuum tubes and ending with the recent advent of microsystems. Subsequently, a general definition of MEMS technology is given, including a description of the common types of MEMS devices such as microsensors and microactuators. The fact that many MEMS devices have been developed and reported in the literature for use in a wide variety of applications is highlighted. The important benefits of MEMS devices are discussed to provide the reader with a motivation of the economic and technological importance of MEMS. It is noted that batch fabrication techniques used in ICs offer many of the same advantages to MEMS microsystems manufacturing, including low cost, small size, low-weight, and high reliability. Nevertheless, the functionality of MEMS is far more diverse and expansive compared to traditional ICs. The concept of smart systems-on-a-chip is described as the merging of microsensors, microactuators, and microelectronics (perhaps even merged with microfluidics and photonics) onto the same substrate providing the promise of revolutionary potential. Lastly, the organization of the book is provided explaining the contents of each chapter.


MEMS Microsystems Microsensors Microactuators Smart systems-on-a-chip Microfabrication Nano-fabrication Transducers 


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Other Information

  1. The reader is referred to three very popular additional sources of information concerning MEMS technology. The first source is a Web site called the MEMS and Nanotechnology Clearinghouse which is located at and is a general informational portal about MEMS technology and includes events, news announcements, directories of MEMS organizations, and a MEMS material database. The second source is the MEMS and Nanotechnology Exchange (MNX) located at This web site represents a large MEMS foundry network and offers MEMS design, fabrication, packaging, product development, and related services as well as considerable information about MEMS and Nanotechnologies. Lastly, the reader is referred to several electronic discussion groups concerning MEMS technology that have very active participation from several thousand MEMS developers and researchers from around the world. These groups can be accessed through the following URL:

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Huff
    • 1
  1. 1.Corporation for National Research InitiativesMEMS & Nanotechnology ExchangeRestonUSA

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