Remote experimentation testing and characterization of micro electro mechanical systems
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We have developed and tested a remotely accessible testing and characterization lab for Microelectromechanical Systems. The system is split into three different modes of operation depending on purpose: 1. Remote Full Device Access Lab, 2. Remote Experiments Lab, and 3. MEMS Characterization Lab. In the first two modes of operation, a MEMS chip containing an array of micro-actuators, a digital microscope, a motorized stage, and software that permits remote control and viewing is used. In the third mode of operation the system consists of a power supply a function generator and an image analysis software. All the three labs utilize LabVIEW as the control software. To conduct a lab, a student logs into the server, selects a device to operate and experiment with, and follows procedures contained in a lab manual. The video feed from the digital microscope is embedded into a live streaming sever allowing the student to quantify the motion of the dynamic MEMS devices. The use of a motorized stage allows selection of different devices on a chip that contains as many as 16 accessible devices. The MEMS chip is fabricated using Sandia National Labs’ SUMMIT-V process consisting of multiple polysilicon layers. Each device has its own unique operating voltage needs. The power supply used in the Remote Access Lab is custom built for MEMS that caters to these demands, whereas the Characterization lab makes use of an industry standard precision Keithley 2400 source meter and an Agilent 33220A waveform generator and National Instruments Vision software similar to many earlier MEMS characterization experiments previously built at Texas Tech University.