MEMS micro-coils for magnetic neurostimulation

Xiyuan Liu, Andrew J. Whalen, Sang Baek Ryu, Seung Woo Lee, Shelley I. Fried, Kayeon Kim, Changsi Cai, Martin Lauritzen, Nicolas Bertram, Bingdong Chang, Tianbo Yu, Anpan Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Micro-coil magnetic stimulation of brain tissue presents new challenges for MEMS micro-coil probe fabrication. The main challenges are threefold; (i) low coil resistance for high power efficiency, (ii) low leak current from the probe into the in vitro experimental set-up, (iii) adaptive MEMS process technology because of the dynamic research area, which requires agile design changes. Taking on these challenges, we present a MEMS fabrication process that has three main features; (i) multilayer resist lift-off process to pattern up to 1800-nm-thick metal films, and special care is taken to obtain high conductivity thin-films by physical vapor deposition, and (ii) all micro-coil Al wires are encapsulated in at least 200 nm of ALD alumina and 6-μm-thick parylene C such the leak resistance is high (>210 GΩ), (iii) combining a multi-step DRIE process and maskless photolithography for adaptive design and device fabrication. The entire process requires four lithography steps. Because we avoided SOI wafers and lithography mask fabrication, the design-to-device time is shortened significantly. The resulting probes are 4-mm-long, 60-μm-thick, and down to 150 μm-wide. Selected MEMS coil devices were validated in vivo using mice and compared to previous work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115143
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Brain machine interfaces
  • MEMS micro-Coils
  • Micro magnetic stimulation
  • Neurochip
  • Neuroprobes
  • Neurotechnologies


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