Lebensumfeld mit Intelligenz:

All News01. October 2009

Living environment with intelligence

Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lang, deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, on challenges, possible application and the leap from micro- to nanosystems

Smart system integration is seen to be a new great challenge for Microsystems engineering. Why?

Dr. Klaus-Dieter Lang: Smart system integration makes products intelligent and multifunctional, for instance wearable computing textiles fitted with communication modules or sensors. The challenge for Microsystems engineering is a result of the partly extreme requirements needed for the vast range of applications.

Where do the difficulties lie?

Dr. Lang: On the one hand there’s the production of these systems: a microsystem exhibits structures, wiring and contacts that are in or close to the nano range. Because of this and the functional interactions manufacturing these systems with a high yield and at low cost is complicated. There must be standardisation, i.e. there must be systems made that are fit for as many applications as possible. The second difficulty affects the application requirements for the end products. For instance clothing is washed. Integrated smart systems must be able to cope with this.

What is research in Berlin working on?

Dr. Lang: We have a phalanx of successful research institutes in Berlin, concentrated at the ZEMI, the Microsystems engineering centre based in Adlershof. Its principal subjects for example are microsystem solutions for medical, food, security and microoptical technologies.

What is research in Berlin working on?

Dr. Lang: We have a phalanx of successful research institutes in Berlin, concentrated at the ZEMI, the Microsystems engineering centre based in Adlershof. Its principal subjects for example are microsystem solutions for medical, food, security and microoptical technologies.

How small can micro still get?

Dr. Lang: I don’t think there’ll be a sustainable jump from the micro- to the nanosystem in the foreseeable future. Today’s microsystems have achieved a great deal. Today the focus is more on new nanotechnologies that must be utilised to expand microsystem functionality. Then we can take a giant step forwards.

www.zemi-berlin.de

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