ME 100/200 Seminar on "PyroMEMS"


Monday, November 28, 2011 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm


ESB 1001


David A. de Koninck, l'Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Neuchatel, Switzerland

Abstract:  Pyrotechnical microsystems, or pyroMEMS, incorporate solid propellant charges as on-chip energy source. Their simplest embodiment consists of an ignition source (e.g., a Joule heater) mated to a small propellant charge. The fuel is ignited and the expanding hot gaseous products are used to do mechanical work (e.g., deliver thrust, inflate a membrane or displace a liquid).

PyroMEMS are of interest due to their large energy densities and simple device architectures. The primary challenge with pyroMEMS devices is their poor reproducibility. There are two main reasons for this: (1) it is due notoriously difficult to integrate new materials--explosives in particular--into MEMS devices, and (2) very little modeling work has been carried out to date in this young field.

In this seminar, I will present  my work on the fabrication and modeling of pyroMEMS with improved reproducibility and performance.

Bio:  David A. de Koninck received his bachelor and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Mcgill University, Montreal, Qc, Canada in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in microsystems engineering at l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in the Sensors and actuators Laboratory (SAMLAB). His current research focuses on the integration of pyrotechnics in microsystems for use in microfluidic and space applications.

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