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High performance CMOS capacitive interface circuits for MEMS gyroscopes

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2006
Silay, Kanber Mithat
This thesis reports the development and analysis of high performance CMOS readout electronics for increasing the performance of MEMS gyroscopes developed at Middle East Technical University (METU). These readout electronics are based on unity gain buffers implemented with source followers. High impedance node biasing problem present in capacitive interfaces is solved with the implementation of a transistor operating in the subthreshold region. A generalized fully differential gyroscope model with force feedback electrodes has been developed in order to simulate the capacitive interfaces with the model of the gyroscope. This model is simplified for the single ended gyroscopes fabricated at METU, and simulations of resonance characteristics are done. Three gyroscope interfaces are designed by considering the problems faced in previous interface architectures. The first design is implemented using a single ended source follower biased with a subthreshold transistor. From the simulations, it is observed that biasing impedances up to several gigaohms can be achieved. The second design is the fully differential version of the first design with the addition of a self biasing scheme. In another interface, the second design is modified with an instrumentation amplifier which is used for fully differential to single ended conversion. All of these interfaces are fabricated in a standard 0.6 m CMOS process. Fabricated interfaces are characterized by measuring their ac responses, noise response and transient characteristics for a sinusoidal input. It is observed that, biasing impedances up to 60 gigaohms can be obtained with subthreshold transistors. Self biasing architecture eliminates the need for biasing the source of the subthreshold transistor to set the output dc point to 0 V. Single ended SOG gyroscopes are characterized with the single ended capacitive interfaces, and a 45 dB gain improvement is observed with the addition of capacitive interface to the drive mode. Minimum resolvable capacitance change and displacement that can be measured are found to be 58.31 zF and 38.87 Fermi, respectively. The scale factor of the gyroscope is found to be 1.97 mV/(°/sec) with a nonlinearity of only 0.001% in ±100 °/sec measurement range. The bias instability and angle random walk of the gyroscope are determined using Allan variance method as 2.158 °/√hr and 124.7 °/hr, respectively.