Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Victor M. Bright, PhD


Microelectromechanical Systems, or 'MEMS' is a broad new field of research into devices that range in size from a few microns to a few millimeters. Much of the technology supporting MEMS research is borrowed from the microelectronics industry; so MEMS holds out the promise of batch fabrication of microminiaturized machines that can be easily integrated with electronics. This dissertation research investigated structures and methods for implementing and packaging complex, large scale microelectromechanical devices and systems using commercially available foundry fabrication processes. It specifies methods for creating and packaging large, complex MEM systems, allowing the exploration of new MEMS architectures at a higher level than was previously possible at research institutions with minimal in-house fabrication capabilities. Completely new areas of research were created, including hinged wiring and a class of devices powered by arrays of low voltage, high force thermal actuators. Throughout this dissertation, example applications of these methods are presented, including stepper motors and large optical systems for high density holographic data storage and aberration correction in optical communication systems. The research culminates in the successful creation of the first commercially fabricated multichip module integrating foundry fabricated MEMS and electronic die.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number