PRISM at Discovery Park

Welcome to PRISM at Discovery Park

Two papers by PRISM researchers have been presented at the 24th IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS 2011) that took place on January 23 – 27 in Cancun, Mexico. The IEEE MEMS conference is one of the premier annual events reporting research results on every aspect of microsystems technology. Devon Parkos, a junior in Aeronautics and Astronautics, who got involved in PRISM center research through SURF program in Summer 2010, is the lead author on the paper “Near-Contact Damping Model and Dynamic Response of μ-Beams Under High-G Loads”. The paper presents dynamic simulations of large-displacement motion and contacting behavior of microbeams in Si inertial switches designed and fabricated at Purdue by the Electrical and Computer Engineering PhD student Nithin Raghunathan and Prof. Dimitrios Peroulis. The measurements of the microbeams subjected to accelerations up to 50,000 g have been done in the Hopkinson pressure bar facility of Prof. Wayne Chen. The second paper “Direct Measurement of Field Emission Current in Electrostatic MEMS Structures” co-authored by graduate students Anurag Garg, Venkat Ayyaswamy and Andrew Kovacs with Profs. Alina Alexeenko and Dimitrios Peroulis presents direct experimental evidence of field emission currents in metallic MEMS devices under voltages significantly less than the macroscopic DC breakdown. Such currents through gas dielectric present a potential mechanism of performance degradation and failure in capacitive MEMS switches.


PRISM leverages advances in nanoscale science and engineering to create innovative nanotechnologies addressing societal challenges and opportunities in computing, communications, the environment, security, energy independence, and health.

Current Events

No current events were found.



Matt Potrawski
Managing Director, PRISM Center
Purdue University
Birck Nanotechnology Center
1205 W. State St., Suite 2027
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088