Tutorial 2.3

Monday, 3 May 2021, 14:00 - 15:30



Essentials of Finite Element Simulatins for MEMS


D. Platz, Technical University Wien, Wien (Austria)



The finite element method (FEM) is one of the most important tools for modelling microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Today, most engineers use commercial FEM software packages in the development of MEMS sensors and actuators. The useability of such commercial FEM software packages has reached a level at which performing FEM simulations does not require an extensive mathematical background. In fact, the actual computations often remain elusive, making it difficult for many users to assess the quality of simulation results. In this tutorial, we provide the essential knowledge required for the competent use of FEM software with a focus on MEMS. In the first part of the tutorial, we review the basics of elasticity theory to understand how deformations of MEMS are described. We discuss the physical interpretation of stress and strain, leading to the formulation of the fundamental partial differential equations (PDEs), which underlay the modelling process. In the second part, we discuss how the finite element method can be used to solve these PDEs numerically. We rewrite the PDEs in a suitable form for a straight forward discretization and introduce the notion of a mesh. We define what finite elements are and how different types of finite elements are required for different types of problems. After the tutorial, participants will better understand the main concepts of the finite element method and will be more competent users of FEM software.

Supporting Institutions and publishing partners