The world's first microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) directly integrated onto a CMOS chip is the aim of a new joint effort among U.S. laboratories, industry and academia.
Advanced Diamond Technologies Inc. (ADT), a spinoff from the U.S. Energy Department's Argonne National Laboratory, partnered last week with MEMS pioneer Innovative Micro Technology (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. They will supply the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) with RF MEMS oscillators and resonators by next year. MEMS devices will be integrated with CMOS chips using the ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films patented by Argonne National Laboratory and licensed to ADT. Low-temperature processing required for diamond films enables MEMS circuit components to be fabricated in predesignated areas on finished CMOS chips.