What is MEMS, and Why Is It Important?

The world of technology is ever evolving. Yet, in order for us to continue to facilitate new technological advances, it’s essential to find new ways of pushing that growth, particularly within the field of space and medicine. One of the key areas for facilitating that growth is in the ability to manufacture miniature tools. This is where the world of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, comes in.

Microfabrication is the form of technology creation that uses miniature mechanical and electro-mechanical pieces. Due to the size of these elements and what they can create, MEMS has the potential to push both the space and medical technological fields beyond its current progress. However, in order to understand its full potential, it’s useful to know exactly what MEMS is.

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems

MEMS technology handles the devices and structures produced via microfabrication. And it’s the size that differentiates this technology. The parts that are used here are typically much lower than one micron all the way to up just a few millimeters. But that’s not all, another thing to note with MEMS is that the structures used can be somewhat simple, or very complex with a full range of moving elements involving microelectronics.

However, it’s also important to understand that one of the key components of MEMS is that there is a mechanical aspect to it—regardless as to whether there is a form of moveability or not.

This technology can also have a range of different names all around the world. It is said that in the United States the term MEMS is most commonly used. However, both of the terms Microsystems Technology and Micromachined Devices still refer to the same process.

What They Do In Development

In order to understand how this works within development, it’s essential to know the key elements of MEMS. The functional elements often concern miniature devices, actuators, sensors and microelectronics. The most notable, or which tend to be the microsensors and microactuators, are known as transducers. You can then better understand what this has to offer for development and growth.

MEMS structures have been used in a range of research and tests and the result has been that they have actually outperformed macroscale alternatives. But that’s not all; their production process offers a low production price per structure, so not only does MEMS offer a superior performance, but a more effective cost-per-device too.

As a step up from that, despite their very small size, they can actually perform to a level that surpasses what a macroscale counterpart could produce. This puts MEMS and microfabrication in particular at the forefront of technological innovation.


To summarize, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems or MEMS is the production of very small devices and structures through the process of microfabrication for fields such as space and medicine, among others. As a result of research and testing, it has come to light that MEMS can actually outperform their counterparts at a lower cost, making them an essential element in future industry growth.

Chris Turn

Chris Turn