Microsystems Technology Laboratories

Director: Jesus del Alamo | Email | Website

77 Massachusetts Ave. • 38-246• Cambridge, MA 02139 • (617) 253-4764

The MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) is an inter-departmental laboratory with a mission to foster world-class research, education and innovation at the nanoscale. MTL’s core faculty members strive to develop solutions to global challenges in areas of energy, communications, water, health, information and transportation, among others.

The MTL represents a research community which brings together experimentalists—skilled in materials and technology at the micro- and nano- levels—with circuits/systems researchers to realize visions for new solutions that are enabled by the integration of these disciplines. Our research activities encompass integrated circuits, systems, electronic and photonic devices, MEMS, bio-MEMS, molecular devices, nanotechnology, sensors and actuators. Over 600 MIT students and postdocs from 19 different Departments, Laboratories or Centers (DLCs) carry out their research in MTL’s facilities annually.

MTL engages its users in a number of technical events. MTL hosts a regular seminar series spanning diverse technical areas related to devices and circuits. In addition, MTL holds an annual research conference (MARC) run by MTL graduate students in conjunction with a steering committee. The conference is widely attended by industry, faculty, students and staff.

To accomplish its mission, MTL manages and staffs a set of experimental facilities in Bldgs. 39 and 24 that host in excess of 150 processing and analytical tools. Our fabrication capabilities include diffusion, lithography, deposition, etching, bonding and packaging. The range of materials continues to expand beyond silicon and other elements in group IV of the periodic table to include III-V compound semiconductors, nitride semiconductors, 2D materials, polymers, glass, organics and others. MTL’s flexible fabrication environment is at the same time capable of long-flow integrated processes that yield complex devices while presenting low-barrier access to fast prototyping of structures and devices for a wide range of users. MTL’s facilities are open to the entire MIT community and the outside world.

MTL also manages an information technology infrastructure that supports state-of-the-art computer-aided design (CAD) tools for device, circuit and system design. MTL hosts process design kits (PDK) that allow users to design chips for fabrication in some of the most advanced commercial integrated circuit processes available in the world today.

MTL sponsors a number of technical seminars and conferences each year to foster broader engagement in nanoscale research and innovation across the MIT community. Speakers in the MTL Seminar series include experts from academia, industry and government, selected on the basis of their knowledge and competence in the areas of microelectronics research, manufacturing, or policy. Graduate students lead the MTL Annual Research Conference (MARC), which is widely attended by MIT faculty and students as well as executives and researchers from members of MTL’s Microsystems Industrial Group (MIG).

MTL is home to the following industrial research centers and initiatives:

The Center for Integrated Circuits and Systems (CICS) is an industrial consortium created to promote new research initiatives in circuits and systems design, as well as to promote a tighter technical relationship between MIT’s research and relevant industry. CICS investigates a wide range of circuits and systems, including wireless and wireline communication, high-speed and RF circuits, microsensor/actuator systems, imagers, digital and analog signal processing circuits, biomedical circuits, and power conversion circuits, among others.

The Medical Electronic Device Realization Center (MEDRC) aims to transform the medical electronic device industries by revolutionizing medical diagnostics and treatments, bringing health care directly to the individual, and creating enabling technology for the future information-driven healthcare system. Specific areas that are being pursued are wearable or minimally invasive monitoring devices, medical imaging, laboratory instrumentation, and the data communication from these devices and instruments to healthcare providers and caregivers.

The MIT/MTL Center for Graphene Devices and 2D Systems (MIT-CG) brings together MIT researchers and industrial partners to advance the science and engineering of graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) material systems. The center explores advanced technologies and strategies that enable 2D materials, devices and systems to provide discriminating or break-through capabilities for a variety of system applications ranging from energy generation and smart fabrics and materials, to RF communications and sensing. The MIT-CG supports the development of the science, technology, tools and analysis for the creation of a vision for the future of new systems enabled by 2D materials.

The MIT/MTL Gallium Nitride (GaN) Energy Initiative (MIT-GaN) brings together MIT researchers and industrial partners to advance the science and engineering of GaN-based materials and devices for energy applications. The Center explores advanced technologies and strategies that enable GaN-based materials, devices and systems to deliver unique capabilities for a variety of system applications ranging from RF power amplification, to energy processing and power management, as well as advanced optoelectronics. The MIT-GaN is focused on GaN materials and devices that are compatible with Si fabrication technologies and works with industrial partners to accelerate the insertion of these devices into systems.