Microsystem technology

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Micro heating

The microsystem technology (MST, English micro systems technology ), rarely also microsystem technology , is a sub-area of ​​the microtechnology and deals with the development and production of microsystems . For example, micromechanical or micro-optical components are combined and integrated with microelectronic circuits in a complex system.

Procedure and application

Sensors , actuators and data processing work together in microsystems . For the production of complex microsystems, processes and methods from different microtechnologies are combined. These include micromechanics , microfluidics and microoptics (sensors, actuators) as well as microelectronics (data processing, electronic interfaces). Integration into a system takes place both as discrete components (see assembly and connection technology ) and monolithically in semiconductor materials such as crystalline silicon or gallium arsenide (see thin-film technology ). The manufacturing processes used are very diverse, in addition to typical thin-film techniques, molding techniques (such as LIGA ), etching techniques, etc. are also used. The MST uses almost every type of material such as metals, semiconductors, ceramics, sol-gel materials, plastics and many more.

Typical applications are sensors and actuators in a variety of areas such as electrical engineering , traffic engineering and medical technology . The actuators are made from shape memory alloys , for example , which have advantageous power densities that can be used primarily in the microsystem technology area. In addition, existing methods from other areas ( computer science , biotechnology and nanotechnology ) are taken up and combined into new systems. The dimensions of the function-determining structures are in the micrometer range, which is used to distinguish it from nanotechnology.

A fringe area of ​​MST is micro process engineering, which deals with physical and / or chemical processes that take place in microstructured devices.


With regard to the term microsystem technology, there is no uniform definition in the English-language literature. In Europe, for example, the term Micro Systems Technology (MST) is mostly used. In the USA , on the other hand, they mostly refer to the microsystems themselves and less to the technology behind them, so that the terms Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems and Micro-Opto-Mechanical Systems or their handy abbreviations MEMS and MOEMS are used there. The situation is similar in Japan , but where the term micromachines predominates.


Web links

Commons : Microtechnology  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Foil-based miniature actuator: "Crocodile" with shape memory. February 26, 2018, accessed on June 14, 2019 (German).