Micro-Electromechanical System

What Does Micro-Electromechanical System Mean?

A micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) is a tiny mechanical module that is driven by electricity. NEMS merge computers with mechanical modules like sensors, actuators and mirrors. They are cost-effective systems that use modified device fabrication technology.


MEMS have a variety of uses and come in a wide array of fabrication design approaches, taking advantage of various components, miniaturization and new standard integrated electromechanical systems. MEMS can be used for wet etching like potassium hydroxide (KOA), dry etching such as deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE), molding and plating, electro discharge machinery (EDM) and other technologies that produce small devices.

A micro-electromechanical system may also be referred to as a microelectronic system, a micromachine, microsystems technology or smart matter.

Techopedia Explains Micro-Electromechanical System

MEMS can be smaller than the width of a human hair and may include several components such as:

  • Microsensors
  • Microactuators
  • Microprocessors
  • Central units for processing data
  • Components for interacting with exterior elements

MEMS have a large surface area to volume ratio and are constructed using silicon fabrication technology.

A MEMS device includes microcircuitry that is placed on a small silicon chip used with mechanical components. The technology supports a large variety of devices that control, sense or activate mechanical processes while functioning as an array or individually.

Presently, MEMS encompass a single distinct microsenor or microacuator into their architecture, but more complex levels of assimilation may occur in the future. The next development may be to incorporate many individual features into one system.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.