FYS9230 – Modelling and design of micro- and nanosystems

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Selected examples of micro- and nanosystems and their applications will be presented: pressure sensors, accelerometers, mirror arrays and labs-on-chips. In order to prepare for designing these types of elements, the course teaches elasticity, structures, electrostatics, piezoresistivity and microfluidics. Microsystem modeling normally combines several fields of physics (multiphysics): mechanics, electromagnetism, fluid dynamics, electronics and small-scale effects like Brownian motion. Analytical models and rough estimates for the functioning of the selected systems are presented, as well as lithographic mask layers and manufacturing processes. The students will use the finite/boundary element based programs Coventorware or Comsol for designing and modeling elements themselves.

Learning outcome

The course provides a theoretical background for modeling mechanical, electromechanical, optical and fluidic microsystems, as well as examples and applications.
The student will achieve experience in

  • Using design tools and commercial modeling programs for MEMS design
  • Evaluation of numerical results, and comparison with rough models
  • Reading and presenting a relevant research paper


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

Background (bachelor level) from physics, electronics, informatics or mechanics.

Overlapping courses


The course is a part of the “Norwegian PhD Network on Nanotechnology for Microsystems”. Lectures will be given in compact form, one week in October and one week in November. Between the lecture weeks the students will work on modelling and literature study. The course includes two compulsory exercises, one design and modeling exercise, using Coventorware or Comsol, and one paper presentation.


Final oral exam.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)