Research in the Integrated MEMS Laboratory relates to the design, analysis, fabrication, and characterization of Micro and Nano Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS and NEMS), with a focus on high Q resonators and resonant gyroscopes. High Q resonators have applications in ‘mixed-domain microsystems’ such as gyroscopes and accelerometers, low jitter clocks, energy harvesters, biochemical sensors for health and environmental monitoring, as well as wireless communications. On the system side, the group specializes on advance interface circuits and architectures for MEMS and Sensors. 

Research focuses on six core areas:

Integrated Inertial Instruments

Piezoelectric Resonant Sensors

Advanced MEMS Processes

Interface Circuits for MEMS

Dissipation in Acoustic Resonators

Energy Harvesters and Generators

Mechano-acoustic signals emanating from the heart and lungs contain valuable information about the cardiopulmonary system. Unobtrusive wearable sensors capable of monitoring these signals longitudinally can detect early pathological signatures. Above, we present a wearable, hermetically-sealed high-precision vibration sensor that combines the characteristics of an accelerometer and a contact microphone to acquire wideband mechano-acoustic physiological signals, and enable simultaneous monitoring of multiple health factors associated with the cardiopulmonary system including heart and respiratory rate, heart sounds, lung sounds, and body motion and position of an individual. 

We have developed an encapsulated accelerometer contact microphone (ACM) that utilizes nano-gap transducers to achieve extraordinary sensitivity in a wide bandwidth (DC-12 kHz) with high dynamic range. The sensors were used to obtain health factors of six control subjects with varying body mass index, and their feasibility in detection of weak mechano-acoustic signals such as pathological heart sounds and shallow breathing patterns is evaluated on patients with preexisting conditions.

Link to research article: npj Digital Medicine