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Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook
by Gregory T. A. Kovacs

One measure of a bookís value is how long it sits on the bookshelf before being used.  Greg Kovacsí book "Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook" was on my shelf less than four hours before I was using it in a project.  It has seen steady use since.

This book should be on every serious micromachinistís bookshelf and is a useful textbook.  It includes an excellent treatment of the fundamental phenomena used in transduction.  These sections start with the fundamental equations, and clearly define the variables.  If Greg revises this book, including one or two practical examples with numerical values and results would make these sections even more valuable.  Also included are interesting phenomena not in general use in micromechanics.  The Nicola Tesla fluidic rectifier on page 813 is an example of a novel device that may be of great utility to the MEMS community.

The book focuses on silicon micromachined devices, and presents a nice coverage of micro transducers in the literature.  There are many figures, and one can thumb through the book looking for device pictures of interest.  The extensive references at the end of each chapter demonstrate the large amount of work that went into the book.

Sometimes things are a bit hard to find in the "Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook." For example, there is a nice section on bonding wafers on page 119, but bonding is not listed in the index, making it hard for the casual user to find.

In the Prologue, Kurt Petersen gives an interesting overview of the early history and development of microelectromechanical systems.  In the Preface Greg Kovacs discusses his motivations and criteria for choosing material.  I wanted to cheer as he discussed separating the chaff from the wheat.  To quote part of the Preface:

I also sought to choose papers wherein ... real experimental verification of device operation was provided.  I decided not to cite several interesting examples where ... the word "simulated" appears next to the word "data."  It was quite interesting to follow up, via electronic searching, on many of the papers where a pretty picture was presented with some phrase like "testing is in progress."  For a large number of them, there never was a follow-on publication, even many years later.

This book presents a good coverage of a broad subject.  I think you will find it useful.

The book "Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook" by Gregory T. A. Kovacs is published by WCB McGraw-Hill,  ISBN 0-07-290722-3, Copyright 1998, to order call 1-800-262-4729, price $97.63

This book was reviewed by William Trimmer of Belle Mead Research, Inc.  He started the Micromechanics Section in "Sensors and Actuators," organized and was editor for 6 years of the IEEE / ASME "Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems," and recently published the IEEE Press book "Micromechanics and MEMS, Classical and Seminal Papers to 1990" (PC4390).  His email is and web address is .

Review written for "Micromachine Devices," an excellent journal on micromechanics, microsystem technologies and MEMS, phone 847 635 8800 USA, fax 847 390 2618, email, Editor Sid Marshall, email  .

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