The rationale for the agreement is that the economic well-being of Mexico is a national security issue for the United States, said Sandia project lead Ernest Garcia.
“If we could help Mexico improve its research and development capabilities, it would help stabilise its economy,” he said.
“Ultimately, the US may be the biggest beneficiary if the MOU contributes to the vitality of the Mexican economy and thereby the stability of the US-Mexican border,” said Gil Herrera, director of Sandia’s Microsystems Science, Technology and Components Center. “We believe that Sandia will also benefit from the relationship, as we will have new minds challenging the design envelope of our SUMMiT MEMS technology.” Dr Herrera is in charge of Sandia’s activities in support of the collaboration.
Sandia’s SUMMiT V fabrication process, one of the most advanced in the world, will permit students to design MEMS devices that employ five layers of silicon. Each layer adds another level of complexity to the design. MEMS devices currently control light, electricity or fluid flow in today’s video cameras, printers, recording devices, televisions and some pumping systems. They also react to motion shock by opening air bags in cars.