Sandia Makes Models

Sandia National Laboratories researchers have crafted 2-D and 3-D modeling programs

October 18, 2001

1 Min Read

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- To make life easier for designers, Sandia National Laboratories researchers Vic Yarberry and Craig Jorgensen have crafted 2-D and 3-D modeling programs. Two-dimensional modeling shows the flat-plane cross sections of devices as they would look if fabricated. The 3-D version allows designers to twirl their virtual microdevices like airplane parts modeled in the macroworld, the still-imaginary part viewed from any perspective. Unworkable portions of the design can be modified or eliminated before - not after - fabrication work is paid for at the foundry. Sandia is a US Department of Energy laboratory. "It's not intuitive how the layers interact," says Jorgensen. "MEMS [microelectromechanical systems] are wonderful in that they come out thousands at a time, all in one piece with no assembly necessary, but there's nothing about fabricating them that is simple. You're building patterned layers on top of other patterned layers, which can create a complex 3-D geometry."While the 2-D program is a valuable design tool that should help new designers get up to speed faster, Polosky says, the 3-D modeler has potential of going to the next step - kinematic modeling - that will demonstrate these devices performing in environments. Two papers by Yarberry and Jorgensen on their modeling work were selected for presentation at the Fourth International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Microsystems, held this past spring at Hilton Head Island. The conference is probably the largest and most prestigious in providing an interdisciplinary forum for modeling, simulation, and scientific computing in the microelectronic, semiconductor, sensors, materials, and biotechnology fields. Sandia National Laboratories

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