Micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) in the broadest sense are devices that are small, include mechanical elements in the order of micrometers, and convert an input signal into a mechanical movement or vice versa. Their applications range from sensors in automotive airbags, to switching micromirrors for projectors, or optical communication networks to microfluidic applications, such as inkjet heads or lab-on-a-chip devices. Traditionally, MEMS have been dominated by materials and micromachining techniques originating from the semiconductor industry . However, polymers are of increasing interest because they offer a low-cost alternative while increasing the range of possibilities with respect to the potential applications [2-5]. There is a range of processing tools available for producing micrometer sized features, including embossing, lithographic processing and printing. Chemical composition provides a wide control over the properties and polymers are capable of deformations, which are orders of magnitude larger than those of inorganic actuators.
|Title of host publication||Cross-Linked Liquid Crystalline Systems|
|Subtitle of host publication||From Rigid Polymer Networks to Elastomers|
|Editors||Dirk Broer, Gregory P. Crawford, Slobodan Zumer|
|Place of Publication||Boca Raton|
|Number of pages||35|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|