Research Areas

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MEMS


There are 2 laboratories under the MEMS Group:

  • Micromachines Lab (N3.1-B3Mb-07) 
  • Micro-Systems Lab (N3.1-B2a-01) 

Research Projects

Development of Micro-sensor and Micro-actuator For Smart Sliders: Head-disk Contact Sensing and Nano Actuating to Achieve 10 Tb/in2
Head-disk contact becomes inevitable when flying height of the magnetic slider in the hard disk drive approaches sub-5 nm for areal densities beyond 500 Gb/in2. Head-disk contact can cause damage to the head-disk interface (HDI) and read/write failure. This project aims to develop a smart slider with built-in ZnO piezoelectric nano-film sensor for head-disk contact detection and an active ZnO-based micro-actuator to prevent contacts and reduce the possibility of data loss.[read more ...]

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Du Hejun


Oven Controlled MEMS Oscillator (OCMO) based on silicon micromachining technology
Frequency references are the beating heart of all modern electronics and provide the pulse for digital devices. Presently, quartz crystal references are used in majority of timing sources to provide stable signal to ensure high performance and reliability. However, quartz crystals are not silicon-compatible and cannot benefit from the exponential advances in silicon-based electronic technology. Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) resonators with which the oscillators are built are a fraction of a millimeter across and vibrate at Megahertz frequencies. They are now displacing quartz resonators in timing applications. Stability is the primary performance characteristic of a MEMS oscillator. The aim of this project is to develop an oven-controlled MEMS oscillator (OCMO) for high precision timing applications.

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Du Hejun


Mechanics of Micro-Systems
A major research project led to the establishment of Centre for Mechanics of Micro-Systems.[read more ...]

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Lin Rongming


Development of MEMS Devices for Vibration and Acoustics Sensing and Actuation Applications.
Develop batch fabrication technique for MEMS microphones, gyroscopes and inertial sensors.[read more ...]

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Lin Rongming


Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and micro-actuators
A new class of polymeric electro-thermal micro-actuators were designed for large and fast actuation, and realized based on high-aspect ratio micro-machined SU8 expander and silicon micro-fins. They were used to drive large-stroke micro-grippers for particle micro manipulation. In addition, its fast thermo-elastic expansion was demonstrated capable of dual-stage micro-positioning for >1 terabit/inch2 hard disk drives.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Lau Gih Keong


Dielectric elastomer actuator as artificial muscles
Dielectric elastomer actuator can act as artificial muscles if it can produced as high electrostatic stress as contractile stress of human flexion. The actuator performance of dielectric elastomer is however limited by electric breakdown. His research resolved pre-mature failures of DEAs by using oil immersion and oil capsules. As such, the oil immersed poly-acrylate DEA achieved an a very high electric field of up to 800 MV/m, double the dielectric strength in air. They can reliably drive a liquid lens for tunable focus. In addition, metallic thin films, which were perceived to be too stiff and brittle to impede large elastomeric deformation, is made biaxially stretchable and compliant by means of surface crumpling on elastomeric substrate. These crumpled metallic thin films remain conductive beyond 110% radial strain and they were used as compliant electrode to drive large elastomeric deformation of up to 128% areal strain at 1.8 kV (102 V/m).

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Lau Gih Keong


Insect-inspired compliant mechanism for flapping-wing micro air vehicles.
Flapping-wing flight, which enables birds and insects agile maneuvers, is however energetically costly for hovering. Substantial power is expended to accelerate and decelerate wings. As inspired by insects, we developed a thoracic mechanism with nonlinear stiffness to recover wing inertial power. In addition, we developed a click mechanism, enabling elastically bi-stable and large snap of wings to save inertial power.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Lau Gih Keong


Study of Biofilm’s Biophysics in Controlled Environments Using a Microfluidic Platform
Biofilms are aggregates of bacteria on interfaces and are bound by an extra-cellular polymer matrix. A microfluidic platform capable of exerting well-defined physical and chemical environments for biofilm studies will be developed. The development of such robust platform has the potential to provide a better understanding of the fundamentals of biofilms, from formation, growth to detachment, through the ability to exert controllable environments on the biofilm. [read more ...]

Principal Investigator: Professor Lam Yee Cheong


Electroosmotic Flow Hysteresis
Electroosmotic flow is the flow of fluid in microfluidic channel under an applied electric field. It has been employed for pumping fluid, mixing and separation of samples/analytes in these micro-devices. The hysteretic behaviors when one fluid displacing another fluid under electroosmotic flow will be investigated. It is a fundamental research on the mechanics of electroosmotic flow; the outcome can potentially be applied to enhance pumping and separation efficiency in microchannel. [read more ...]

Principal Investigator: Professor Lam Yee Cheong


Project PROVEL
This project was awarded by FSTD to fund Temasek Lab’s MEMS team to collaborate with Stanford University’s Prof Roger Howe (funded by DARPA) to transit the previous DARPA funded project using foundry services. It allows our MEMS team to work with the best MEMS researchers in the world to come up with innovative designs based on the technology platform developed by TL.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Project Yellowbrick
This project aims to research and develop high power semiconductor switches for arrayed antenna application. This work is also built upon the prior fabrication experiences done by the TL MEMS team for the DSO systems engineers. Integration of the switches into module level is the focus.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Project Legoland
This project is collaboration with DSO in the joint development of microwave antenna system. TL MEMS team is providing technical support in Microsystems integration for the realization of this project.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Project Maximoff
This project is a proof-of-concept for identification of friend and foe at a standoff distance. In order to obtain fast results and ready-to-apply methodology, the approach is to make use of micromirrors and laser sources to demonstrate the concept of long distance activation/reflection based on laser source.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Project Teardown
This project employs MEMS sensors in an urban GPS denied environment for situation awareness and mapping. Our team comprises of experts in Electrical engineering, Civil engineering and Mechanical engineering to provide a wireless sensor networking system for information extraction, for example 3D indoor mapping, sensor network localization, moving object detection, temperature, indoor air quality, pressure, sound etc.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Development of an integrated point-of-care microfluidic platform for leukocyte sorting and functional characterization in type 2 diabetes patients
This project employs Bio-MEMS sensors to develop an integrated point-of-care testing platform for leukocyte (white blood cell) functional characterization in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. It is an interdisciplinary research with the LKCMedicine.

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Li King Ho Holden


Electrohydrodynamic instability of immiscible fluids in microfluidic systems
Many microfluidic devices exploit the liquid-liquid interfacial instability at small Reynolds numbers. We have shown the use of electroosmosis to control the stream width of hydrodynamic focusing of multiple liquids streams. The widths of the sheath streams depend on the directions and the applied electric field strengths. The fluid with low electroosmotic mobility (non conducting fluid) is focused and switched to the desired outlet ports by the interfacial forces of the conducting fluids as well as by the pressure gradient. This approach is further extended to the design of an optofluidic in-plane bi-concave lens to perform both light focusing and diverging using the combined effect of pressure driven flow and electro-osmosis.

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Wong Teck Neng


Cyborg Insect: insect-machine hybrid system for locomotion control

Principal Investigator: Assistant Professor Hirotaka Sato