A fully-differential bulk-micromachined mems accelerometer with interdigitated fingers

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2012
Aydın, Osman
Accelerometer sensors fabricated with micromachining technologies started to take place of yesterday’s bulky sensors in many application areas. The application areas include a wide range from consumer electronics and health systems to military and aerospace applications. Therefore, the performance requirements extend form 1 μg’s to 100 thousand g’s. However, high performance strategic grade MEMS accelerometer sensors still do not exist in the literature. Smart designs utilizing the MEMS technology is necessary in order to acquire high performance specifications. This thesis reports a high performance accelerometer with a new process by making the use of bulk micromachining technology. The new process includes the utilization of Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) wafer and its buried oxide (BOX) layer. The BOX layer helps to realize interdigitated finger structures, which commonly find place in surface micromachined CMOS-MEMS capacitive accelerometers. The multi-metal layered CMOS-MEMS devices inherently incorporate interdigitated finger structures. Interdigitated finger structures are highly sensitive to acceleration in comparison with comb-finger structures, which generally find usage in bulk-micromachined devices, due to absence of anti-gap. The designed sensors based on this fabrication process is sought to form a fully-differential signal interfaced sensor with incorporation of the advantages of high sensitive interdigitated finger electrodes and high aspect ratio SOI wafer’s bulk single crystal silicon device. Under the light of the envisaged process, sensor designs were made, and verified using a computing environment, MATLAB, and a finite element analysis simulator, CoventorWARE. The verified two designs were fabricated, and all the tests, except the centrifuge test, were made at METU-MEMS Research Center. Among the fabricated sensors, the one designed for the high performance achieves a capacitance sensitivity of 178 fF with a rest capacitance of 8.1 pF by employing interdigitated finger electrodes, while its comb-finger implementation can only achieve a capacitance sensitivity of 75 fF with a rest capacitance of 10 pF.

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Citation Formats
O. Aydın, “A fully-differential bulk-micromachined mems accelerometer with interdigitated fingers,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.