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Hybrid Nano-Electro-Mechanical / Integrated Circuit Systems for Sensing and Power Management Applications (NEMSIC)
Start date: Jun 1, 2008, End date: Mar 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

NEMSIC addresses the future intelligent sensor and actuator systems in which solid-state semiconductor micro/nanodevices and micro/nano-mechanical devices are co-integrated for new functionalities and increased performance.The project proposes the exploration and development of low power sensing micro/nanosystems based on Nano-Electro-Mechanical (NEM) structures integrated on a Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) or Silicon-On-Nothing (SON) technological platform. The applications that drive the technological NEM-based smart system demonstrators are gas (COx, NOx, SOx) and biological sensing (DNA, proteins and other molecules), dedicated to critical environment monitoring and applications in the fields of genetics, pharmacology and drug discovery. NEM technology will be combined with silicon CMOS technology involving novelty and scientific/technical challenges at three levels: (i) system level, addressing the challenge of true nano-micro interfaces, where signals detected by arrays of nanostructures are processed by smartly designed low power CMOS circuitry, (ii) device level, where novel true hybrid NEM-FET devices support new highly sensitive detection scheme and power management via sleep switches and (iii) technology level, where nanotechnology processes (top down processed nanobeams and nanogaps, featuring sub-100nm dimensions) will be developed and combined with advanced functionalization techniques for dedicated sensing that stays compatible with CMOS in future IC-embedded or post-IC approaches. The reliability of the NEM structures, combined with prospects for 0-level packaging are studied as key challenges for the success of such Nano-electro-mechanical-system-integrated-circuits (NEMSIC).Finally, NEMSIC is expected to provide the end-users with flexible design methodologies based on advanced but well-controlled SOI or SON technology platforms, with predictable performances and associated cost effectiveness.

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