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A special August 1998 issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE (Vol. 86, No. 8) "Integrated Sensors, Microactuators, and Microsystems (MEMS)" features 19 well written papers giving an overview of MEMS.  Guest Editor, Ken Wise,  successfully assembled contributions by leading figures in the field.

The material is presented at an intermediate level.  Electrical engineers without a MEMS background will find these articles useful. However,  people familiar with the field will  find the material to be a general review, and those without an EE background will probably find the articles hard reading.  Since the papers are intended for the general EE audience, they hit their mark.

The 250 pages in the August issue present  a good selection of topics, but not all silicon devices and technologies are covered.  Non-silicon based technologies are not addressed.

The issue presents an excellent photographic collection of current structures and devices, and has an ample number of references and  citations.  It also provides a useful overview for a MEMS researcher investigating a new process or application.

The first two articles discuss bulk and surface micromachining including the details of the fabrication processes.  The next article on wafer-to-wafer bonding is a useful review of bonding techniques.  The capabilities of LIGA and high-aspect-ratio microsystems technology (HARMST) are discussed followed by a article on the interesting material, silicon carbide.  Next an article by Stephen Senturia (MIT) discusses the need, challenges, and potential for computer aided design (CAD).  Several articles on sensors include pressure, inertial, thermal and infrared sensors.  Two articles discuss micro optical systems, one describes the DMD projection display, the other is a review of surface micromachined micro optical elements.  Other articles include a discussion of automotive applications, wireless communication to remote MEMS devices, the use of micromachined structures as inductors, capacitors and filters, and an overview of MEMS devices for genetic diagnostics.   The paper by Hiroyuki Fujita (University of Tokyo) is a comprehensive review of microsystems and includes many interesting charts and time lines.

The special issueís price of ten dollars (plus shipping) makes it a best buy.  It may be ordered from the  IEEE at (800) 678 4333 (in the USA) or (732) 981 0060, fax (732) 981 9667, email , web .

  -- William Trimmer

This review is by William Trimmer, Vice President of Standard MEMS.  He organized and was editor of the IEEE / ASME "Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems," co-organized the first MEMS Workshop, and recently published the IEEE Press book "Micromechanics and MEMS."  His email is .  His is web web page at contains many useful references.

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