Overview of Microelectronics and MEMS research at the Air Force Institute of Technology

R. Coutu
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,
United States

Keywords: microelectronics, MEMS, Air Force


The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH, is the Air Force’s graduate school where defense-focused, technical graduate and related research is conducted. The student body is primarily made up of active duty US military officers and enlisted personnel with a few US civilians and some foreign military. All AFIT graduate students are required to do thesis or doctoral-level research during their course of study. In the microelectronics and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) curriculum, the vast majority of the students do hands-on, experimentally-based research projects. The microelectronics/MEMS area has a dedicated Class 1000 cleanroom facility (2,300ft2) where end-to-end device fabrication processes are taught and utilized during student/faculty research. Additionally, microelectronics/MEMS researchers have access to approximately 1,000ft2 of dedicated lab space for testing and characterizing devices and materials. The talk will address specific capabilities, recent cleanroom facility modifications/upgrades and also an overview presentation of various research projects conducted at AFIT. For example, the sensors related work accomplished by AFIT students and faculty include: surface acoustic wave (SAW) chemical sensors for explosive material detection, terahertz (THz) photoacoustic (PA) chemical sensors using a MEMS cantilever sensor, thermal/fusing sensors using THz metamaterial structures and vibrational sensors for energy harvesting applications. Based on these and other projects, potential future areas of collaboration will be explored and presented.