News Flash: Roger Grace's Blog on MEMS Commercialization 2007 - "The future is very bright for MEMS, especially in the "killer application" sector. Whereas in the past only a handful of these high-volume applications existed, I expect to see many more opportunities for MEMS in many other areas, including biomedical applications." This has been found to be true recently with Yole's 2011 analysis of the MEMS industry.
The "Art Wafer"
The first fab (cleanroom) experience our students and workshop participants are exposed to is the making of an "Art Wafer" which we also refer to as the "Tourist Wafer".
Generally, the wafer has a layer of silicon dioxide deposited in our furnace. The way this is done is to heat the wafers to about 900-1000C in with some water vapor (call "wet oxidation"). Details of this can be found in our fabrication educational modules including Deposition, Etch Overview. The Etch Overview has an activity called the Rainbow Wafer Activity which goes into more detail as to how the oxide wafers are produced.
So... once you have a layer of oxide on your silicon wafer (substrate) you can pattern through lithography and subsequently etch the wafer with a solution of Hydroflouric Accid to create a pattern in the wafer.
We have create a "Job Instruction" Guide for teaching this process to our students. It is a good tool for this sort of training, click on: Art_Wafer
For my students, I also have them design their own mask (pattern) here is a link to this assignment: Make Your Own Mask