October 2015 edition – Vol.7 no.9

4th edition of the ReSMiQ Innovation Day – RID2015
On October 19th the participants in the 4th edition of the ReSMiQ Innovation Day gathered at the École de technologies supérieure (ÉTS) to attend the keynote speeches, the panel discussion and several technical demonstrations. This annual event organized by our center aims to give visibility to the research work done by graduate and undergraduate students of the province of Quebec in the field of microsystems. Exceptionally for this edition, ReSMiQ joined forces with the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society through its Outreach Initiative Event program sponsoring the RID’15 to organize an imposing event during which internationally renowned experts presented their most recent developments in the field of circuits and systems. We wish to thank Professor Andreas G. Andreou, from Johns Hopkins University, Professor Giancula Setti, from University of Ferrara in Italy, and Professor Viktor Gruev, from the University of Washington in St-Louis for their involvement.

We also thank all the participants for this success, and particularly Sonia Dominique from the department of electrical engineering of the ÉTS for the welcome and invaluable logistic support.

Students at all levels (CEGEP, university undergraduate and graduate) showed their scientific and technical expertise during a competition through experimental demonstrations to a jury constituted of many experts. The three best projects in each category were awarded special prizes as well as a special award from the IEEE CAS society. This year, 10 projects were presented including one from the Lionel Groulx College in Ste-Thérèse affiliated with CIMEQ. We thank all the students who submitted their project as well as congratulate the winners. We hope to see more new innovations for the next edition.

Undergraduate level winners
1e – Alexandre Salconi-Denis, Collège Lionel-Groulx
2e – Frédérik Dubois, Université de Sherbrooke
3e – Nataly Arraiz Matute, Université Concordia

Graduate level winners
1e – Gabi Sarkis et Pascal Giard, Université McGill
2e – Nicolas Roy, Université de Sherbrooke
3e – Samuel Parent, Université de Sherbrooke

IEEE CASS special award
Frédéric Nolet, Université de Sherbrooke

From left to right: F. Nolet, A. Salconis-Denis, F. Dubois, S. Parent, N. Roy, G. Sarkis.

ISCAS2016 – Call for contributions and submission of articles
The organization of the next edition of the IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS2016) is progressing and we have achieved the first milestones in terms of contribution of communications. More than 1300 articles have been submitted from 50 countries and will be reviewed in order to reach a final selection that will be announced on January 11, 2016. More details

ReSMiQ and IEEE-SSCS Montréal seminar
Eric Klumperink from the University of Twente, Netherlands presented a seminar entitled “Cognitive Radio Transceiver Chips” at Polytechnique Montréal, organized as part of our continuing training program in collaboration with the IEEE Montréal’s chapter of the Solid State circuit society (SSCS).
See the abstract



– Dr. Roy from Université de Sherbrooke welcomes Dr. Maryline Hélard from INSA Rennes, France.

– Dr. Sawan from Polytechnique Montréal offered a keynote talk at EEE-ISBB 2015 and co-chaired this conference held in Beijing, China. More details

– Dr. Sawan from Polytechnique Montréal offered 2 invited seminars, at SJTU-Paristech Elite Institute of technology in Shanghai, China, and at the School of Microelectronics in Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
More details for SJTU / More details for Jiao Tong U.


– Dr. Massicotte from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières received an ENGAGE PLUS grant from NSERC with Simaudio Inc.

– G. Nabovati, Ph.D. candidate supervised by Dr. Sawan from Polytechnique Montréal won the Brian Barge award, the most prestigious award at the annual CMC Microsystems TEXPO competition. More details


– Dr. Sawan from Polytechnique Montréal organized a special session at the IEEE-ICUWB conference held in Montréal.



Scholarship competition
Financial support for graduate students
More details

SIGNAL is the main monthly information medium of the Microsystems Strategic Alliance of Québec (ReSMiQ). This newsletter aims to be an active link between the members of ReSMiQ and all individuals who have an interest in research and innovation in microsystems. We commit ourselves to promote in it our members’ research and increase ReSMiQ’s visibility.

ReSMiQ is a group of researchers in an interuniversity research center that can count on the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and ten (10) Quebec universities involved in microsystems research.

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Call for contributions

XXXIII  Conference on design of circuits and integrated systems (DCIS),
from November 14 to 16, 2018, Lyon, France.
Submission deadline : May 1st, 2018.
More details

IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS2018),
from October 17 to 19, 2018, Cleveland, U.S.A.
Submission deadline : June 11, 2018.
More details

IEEE Life Science Conference (LSC2018),
from October 28 to 30, 2018, Montréal, Canada

Submission deadline : June 4, 2018.
More details

Call for participation

31st Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer engineering (CCECE),
from May 13 to 16, 2018, Québec, Canada.
More details

2018 International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS),
from May 27 to 30, 2018, Florence, Italy.

More details

16th IEEE International NEWCAS Conference (NEWCAS),
from June 24 to 27, 2018, Montréal, Canada.
More details

The 31st International Conference on Industrial, Engineering & Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems (IAE-AIE2018)
Du 25 au 28 juin 2018, Montréal, Canada.
More details

61st IEEE International Midwest Symposium on Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS),
from August 5 to 8, 2018, Windsor, ON, Canada.
More details


Prof. L. Fréchette
Université de SHerbrooke
Member of ReSMiQ since 2010

Frechette_LucLuc G. Fréchette received the Ph.D. in Energy Conversion from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA. He was a Faculty Member at Columbia University, New York, USA. He is currently Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the of the Université de Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. He held the Canada Research Chair in Microfluidics and Power MEMS. His expertise is in microengineering of miniature systems for energy conversion, such as heat engines (microturbines), micro fuel cells, cooling microsystems, and vibration energy-harvesting MEMS. He is the author or co-author of 4 patents, 10 book chapters, and several papers in journals and scientific conferences. Several of them have been awarded as the best conference paper. Dr. Fréchette is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)and IEEE. More information

Below is a selection of publications in recent years followed by representative work.

Thermal management

1. Azarkish, H., Behzadmehr, A., Fanaei Sheikholeslami, T., Hosseini Sarvari, S. M. Frechette, L., "A novel silicon bi-textured micro-pillar array to provide fully evaporated steam for a micro Rankine cycle application", J. Phys. D: Appl Phys, vol 47, 475301, 2014.

2. Salimshirazy, M. and Fréchette, L.G., "Effect of Meniscus Recession on the Effective Pore Radius and Capillary Pumping of Copper Metal Foams", J. Electron. Packag., 2014.

3. Newby, P., Canut, B., Bluet, J.-M., Gomès, S., Isaiev, M., Burbelo, R., Termentzidis, K., Chantrenne, P., Fréchette, L.G., Lysenko, V., "Amorphisation and reduction of thermal conductivity in porous silicon by irradiation with swift heavy ions", J. Appl. Phys. vol. 114, no. 014903, 2013.

4. Collin, L.-M., Arenas, O., Arès, R., Fréchette, L.G., "Thermal Resistance and Heat Spreading Characterization Platform for Concentrated Photovoltaic Cell Receivers", IEEE Trans. Components, Packaging & Manufac. Tech., vol. 3, no. 10, p. 1673-1682, 2013.

Power MEMS

5. Dompierre, A., Vengallatore, S., Fréchette, L.G., “Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesters: Modeling, Design, Limits and Benchmarking” in Energy Harvesting with Functional Materials and Microsystems, Editors M. Bhaskaran, S. Sriram & K. Iniewski, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, 289 pp., 2013.

6. Formosa, F., Fréchette, L.G., "Scaling laws for free piston Stirling engine design: Benefits and challenges of miniaturization", Energy, vol. 57, p. 796-808, 2013.

7. Mirshekari, G., Brouillette, M., Fréchette, L.G., "Through silicon vias integratable with thin-film piezoelectric structures", Int’l J. of Nanoscience, vol. 11, no. 4, 2012.

8. Hamel, S., and Fréchette, L.G., "Critical importance of humidification of the anode in miniature air-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells," J. Power Sources, vol. 196, pp. 6242-6248, 2011.

9. Lee, C., Liamini, M., Fréchette, L. G., "A Silicon Microturbopump for a Rankine-Cycle Power Generation Microsystem – Part II: Fabrication and Characterization," J. Microelectromech. Syst., vol. 20, 01/31, 2011.


 A Silicon Micro-Turbopump for a Rankine-Cycle Power Generation Microsystem – Part II: Fabrication and Characterization

In Part I of this two-part article, the design approach for a micro-turbopump was presented. This second part describes the fabrication and experimental characterization of the demo micro-turbopump device, which includes hydrostatic bearings, a spiral groove viscous pump and a multistage microturbine. The device is composed of five wafers: one glass wafer, one silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer, and three silicon wafers. The silicon and SOI wafers are patterned using shallow and deep reactive ion etching (total of 14 masks), while the Pyrex glass wafer was ultrasonically drilled. Anodic bonding, fusion bonding and manual assembly with alignment structures were then used to complete the device and enclose the 4 mm diameter rotor. The approach allowed the microfabrication of unique interdigitated blade rows in the microturbine and interchangeable parts for flexible testing. After completion of the device, bearings were first tested in static and dynamic conditions. Then, the turbine was characterized with compressed air only, and spun up to 330,000 RPM producing 0.38 W of mechanical power. The pump performance map was also completely characterized for speeds up to 120,000 RPM showing a maximum pump flow rate of 9 mg/s and maximum pressure rise of 240 kPa. In a turbopump system performance test using compressed air to the turbine and water in the pump, the rotor was spun up to 116,000 RPM, which corresponds to 25 m/s in tip speed. At this condition, the turbine produced 0.073 W of mechanical power with 41kPa of differential pressure and 24 mg/s of flow rate, and the pump pressurized water by 88 kPa with a flow rate of 4 mg/s maintaining constant efficiency of 7.2 % over the operating range. Out of the total power produced by the turbine, 10 % was consumed by the viscous pump, while the rest was dissipated by other components through viscous drag. The system level predictions by models introduced in Part I also match the measured performance, suggesting that a valid design basis has been established for this type of rotating micromachine.



Fig. 1. Cross-section of 5-wafer stack micro-turbopump device, showing the main components, and isometric SEM of the rotor.