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Micromachines 2016, 7(9), 167; doi:10.3390/mi7090167

Novel Capacitive Sensing System Design of a Microelectromechanical Systems Accelerometer for Gravity Measurement Applications

1
MOE Key Laboratory of Fundamental Physical Quantities Measurement, School of Physic, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Institute of Geophysics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Frank Niklaus and Roy Knechtel
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 22 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 14 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Integration Technologies for MEMS)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7069 KB, uploaded 14 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

This paper presents an in-plane sandwich nano-g microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometer. The proof-mass fabrication is based on silicon etching through technology using inductive coupled plasma (ICP) etching. The capacitive detection system, which employs the area-changing sensing method, combines elementary capacitive pickup electrodes with periodic-sensing-array transducers. In order to achieve a large dynamic range with an ultrahigh resolution, the capacitive detection system employs two periodic-sensing-array transducers. Each of them can provide numbers for the signal period in the entire operating range. The suspended proof-mass is encapsulated between two glass caps, which results in a three dimensional structure. The measured resonant frequency and quality factor (Q) are 13.2 Hz and 47, respectively. The calibration response of a ±0.7 g input acceleration is presented, and the accelerometer system presents a sensitivity of 122 V/g and a noise floor of 30 ng/√Hz (at 1 Hz, and 1 atm). The bias stability for a period of 10 h is 30 μg. The device has endured a shock up to ±2.6 g, and the full scale output appears to be approximately ±1.4 g presently. This work presents a new opportunity for highly sensitive MEMS fabrication to enable future high-precision measurement applications, such as for gravity measurements. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; three dimensional (3D); capacitive sensing system design; large dynamic range; high resolution; high-precision measurement MEMS; three dimensional (3D); capacitive sensing system design; large dynamic range; high resolution; high-precision measurement
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Z.; Wu, W.J.; Zheng, P.P.; Liu, J.Q.; Fan, J.; Tu, L.C. Novel Capacitive Sensing System Design of a Microelectromechanical Systems Accelerometer for Gravity Measurement Applications. Micromachines 2016, 7, 167.

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