MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) are organized to provide facilities and a working environment to support undergraduate and graduate education through teaching and research in the area of microsystems technology.

The MTL carries out graduate research activities in the fabrication and study of small (i.e., micron, submicron, and nanometer) structures and their use for the implementation of interesting integrated devices from X-ray lenses to nanometer-scale transistors to displays to micro-chemical reactors. Additionally, researchers are investigating new circuits and systems that are built using microsystems technology. The MTL facilities include laboratory space for electronics test and assembly, computation and communication, and microfabrication. The MTL microfabrication facilities include three clean rooms; the state-of-the-art class-10 Integrated Circuits Laboratory (ICL), the flexible process environment Technology Research Laboratory (TRL), and the NanoStructures Laboratory (NSL). The fabrication and computation facilities of the MTL are maintained and operated by a full time technical staff, and used by research students and staff. The facilities of the MTL are also utilized for the laboratory component of several undergraduate and graduate courses, most notably the microelectronics processing course (6.152J). Approximately 110 students per year are educated in hands-on microfabrication through 6.152J and associated project laboratory courses.

MTL maintains a strong and vibrant interaction with industries that value not only the research output, but also the students that are educated in state-of-the-art microsystems technology. The MTL facilities are supported in part by industry through the MIT Microsystems Industrial Group (MIG), whose current members include: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Analog Devices, Applied Materials, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Intel Corporation, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Inc. Novellus Systems, Texas Instruments, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC), as well as members of the Microsystems Affiliates Program whose members are Kokusai/BTI Corporation and Sony Corporation.

The highlights for AY1999 in the MTL include:

Looking to the coming year, we anticipate several major events:

Finally, it is worth noting in this report that AY99 signified the conclusion of Prof. Raphael Reif's tenure as director of MTL. He leaves this post to serve as Associate Head in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. During his tenure as Director of MTL, Rafael guided the laboratory through an exciting period of growth and expansion. We have all been touched by his untiring dedication to MTL, and his sensitivity to the needs of the community. Rafael is a great leader of change, and a tremendous champion of the labs. He has served as a visible and powerful spokesperson for MTL, and as a national voice for university microfabrication laboratories to industry and governments. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Rafael, and his family, for his countless hours of dedicated service to MTL and his infectious good spirit.

More information about the Microsystems Technology Laboratories can be found on the World Wide Web at

Martin A. Schmidt

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99