Module IES-4107:
RF and Optical MEMS

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Maziar Nezhad

Overall aims and purpose

strong textThis module aims to introduce the use and benefits of miniaturisation in photonic and RF technologies. The module will review the basic mechanical, electrostatic and optical/RF concepts underlying MEMS technology and will present manufacturing processes and applications of the technology. Special emphasis will be placed on using COMSOL Multiphysics and associated toolboxes in this module. Assessment will include mini-projects and presentations, in addition to the traditional written examination.

Course content

• Mechanical properties of structures • Electrostatic forces • Guided waves in the RF and optical domains • Photonic chip technology • Optical MEMS systems: Waveguides, Mirrors, etc. • RF MEMS systems: Inductors, capacitors, switches, etc. • Microfabrication for MEMS

Assessment Criteria







Learning outcomes

  1. MEMS technology applied to RF engineering

  2. COMSOL multiphysics (RF/Optics/MEMS modules)

  3. Underlying principles of MEMS technology

  4. MEMS technology applied to photonics

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Mid-Term Exam 50
Presentation 20
Mini-Project / Essay/Presentation 30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Review of an assigned paper followed by a 10 minute presentation


Lectures covering the theory and practice of MEMS. Essay and project presentations. Midterm.

Individual Project

Projects will be assigned to pairs of students, to be executed using COMSOL Multiphysics. Results will be written up in a report together with a 10 minute presentation.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of electronic engineering in an international context;
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling


Talis Reading list

Reading list

RF MEMS: Theory, Design, and Technology Book by Rebeiz, Gabriel M. 2004

Courses including this module