Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Prof. Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Prof. Nancy A. Burnham, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Dr. Thomas F. Marinis, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Prof. Yimming Rong, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Prof. John M. Sullivan, Committee Member




One of the key measurement devices used in characterization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is the interferometric microscope. This device allows remote, noninvasive measurements of the surface shape and deformations of MEMS in full-field-of-view with high spatial resolution and nanometer accuracy in near real-time. As MEMS are becoming more prevalent in the areas of consumer products and national defense, the demand for a versatile and easy to use characterization system is very high. This Thesis describes the design, implementation, and use of an interferometric system that is based on modular components which allow for many loading and measurement capabilities, depending on a specific application. The system has modules for subjecting MEMS to vacuum and dry gas environments, mechanical vibration excitation, thermal loads (both heating and cooling), and electrical loads. Three interferometric measurement modules can be interchanged to spatially measure shape and deformation of micro- and/or meso-scale objects, and temporally measure vibrations of these objects. Representative examples of the measurement and loading capabilities of the system are demonstrated with microcantilevers and a microgyroscope.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





vacuum, shape and deformation measurement, MEMS, vibrometry, scanning white light, Interferometry, thermal, vibration, Interference microscopes, Microelectromechanical systems