MEMS are typically fabricated from silicon wafers. MEMS has gone beyond its roots in the semiconductor industry to include other manufacturing techniques such as surface micro-machining, bulk silicon micro-machining, photolithography, deposition and plastic molding and electro-discharge machining.
While both semiconductor and MEMS wafers are patterned by photolithography, MEMS specific manufacturing creates physical features on a wafer by removing sacrificial layers beneath desired mechanical structures. This fundamental difference has several process implications. MEMS processing typically involves deeper, more specialized etches and may fuse wafers into a stack to create large multi-layered devices.
As a platform technology, MEMS offers several key benefits including; precisely defined and accurately located fluid jet nozzles; creation of tightly packed and highly integrated jetting structures, and mechanically robust and chemically inert devices that meet the demands of cutting-edge fluid jetting and deposition requirements.