Project: Mesys Infrastructure

Project: Mesys Infrastructure

Project duration: 14.10.2016 - 30.04.2019

Funding and project duration:

The construction of the infrastructure was supported from 14.10.2016 - 30.04.2019 by the European Union Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Support for Infrastructure for Research, Development and Innovation (InfraFEI).


This project is for the funding of infrastructure at Konrad-Zuse-Straße 1, 03046 Cottbus. 

Funding Objective:

The InfraFEI project serves the Mesoscopic Actuators and Systems (MESYS) project group of the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS in collaboration with the Chair of Micro and Nano Systems of the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU C-S) to provide instrumental support for the research of electrostatic microactuators, the so-called "Nano Electrostatic Drives" (NED). At the beginning of the reporting period, the successful evaluation of the MESYS project group led to the establishment of the business unit "Monolithically Integrated Actuator and Sensor Systems" (MAS) at the IPMS-ISS part of the institute in Cottbus. The MAS business unit continues the work of the MESYS project group in terms of content.

The NED actuators are to be used and further developed in microfluidic systems for micropumps, microvalves and microdosing systems as well as in micropositioning systems.The associated metrological challenges require further metrological equipment in addition to the already existing equipment. This is being financed by the "MESYS Infrastructure" investment project.


The following equipment was purchased with the support of the project:

Item 1: "IR microscope (incl. software)".

The infrared microscope serves the project on the one hand to identify defects, such as short circuits, and on the other hand to assess actuator movements and material flows, i.e. structures and processes that take place in buried or encapsulated locations of the silicon chip. For this purpose, the pumps and valves are controlled electrically and their thermal image is analyzed.


Position 2: "Micromanipulators

The micromanipulators are used especially for the electrical contacting of the valves and pumps in the test phase under the IR microscope or the Micro-PIV (Micro Particle Imaging Velocimitry).


Position 3: "Graphic Processor Unit (GPU)".

The Graphic-Processor-Unit is used to accelerate the fluidics simulations with the simulation software ANSYS on a computer.


Position 4: "Micro-PIV

Micro-PIV (Micro Particle Imaging Velocimetry) is used to determine the velocity distribution of a flowing material in a micro-channel. Based on this data, not only the flow rate can be determined, but in particular the channel geometry can be optimized.


Position 5: "Source Measure Unit (SMU)

A source measure unit (SMU) measures the electrical voltage-current characteristics of pumps and valves with high precision. This enables us, among other things, to assess manufacturing process variations and to detect any electrical weak points and short circuits.


Position 6: "Capacitance measuring device (LCR)".

The capacitance meter allows us to determine the electrical impedance of the valves and pumps. Among other things, this value allows statements to be made about the electronic control of the microfluidic components.


Position 7: "Microfluidic equipment".

Microfluidic equipment is equipment and sensors for the controlled supply of the media to be pumped or controlled (liquids and gases). The sensors are used to determine flow rates and pressures.


Item 8: "High-voltage drives".

The electrostatic NED drives of the pumps and valves operate at higher control voltages, so a controllable high voltage drive is used for their experimental operation.


Position 9: "FPGA / DSP station".

The FPGA / DSP station is used in the project to test a control electronics before it is integrated as a silicon structure into the micropump or microvalve.


Position 10: "DAQ units

Data acquisition units (DAQ units) are used for computer-aided signal generation and data acquisition in a variety of experiments.


Position 11: "Wafer level prober station".

The wafer-level prober station will be a custom-built device that will allow us to flexibly use the micromanipulators (position 2 in the table) at the microscope. It will be available for wafer level device characterization.


Position 12: "Vibration damped stage".

The vibration damped stage minimizes vibrations and thus the disturbance influence on motion measurements of the actuators in the micropump and the microvalve with the Micro-PIV and the IR microscope.