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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 680;

Absolute Position Sensing Based on a Robust Differential Capacitive Sensor with a Grounded Shield Window

School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150080, China
National Institute of Metrology, Beijing 100013, China
Key Laboratory for the Electrical Quantum Standard of AQSIQ, Beijing 100029, China
School of Instrumentation Science and Opto-Electronics Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vamsy P. Chodavarapu
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 16 April 2016 / Accepted: 9 May 2016 / Published: 11 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [7057 KB, uploaded 11 May 2016]   |  


A simple differential capacitive sensor is provided in this paper to measure the absolute positions of length measuring systems. By utilizing a shield window inside the differential capacitor, the measurement range and linearity range of the sensor can reach several millimeters. What is more interesting is that this differential capacitive sensor is only sensitive to one translational degree of freedom (DOF) movement, and immune to the vibration along the other two translational DOFs. In the experiment, we used a novel circuit based on an AC capacitance bridge to directly measure the differential capacitance value. The experimental result shows that this differential capacitive sensor has a sensitivity of 2 × 10−4 pF/μm with 0.08 μm resolution. The measurement range of this differential capacitive sensor is 6 mm, and the linearity error are less than 0.01% over the whole absolute position measurement range. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacitive sensor; length metrology; fringe effect capacitive sensor; length metrology; fringe effect

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Bai, Y.; Lu, Y.; Hu, P.; Wang, G.; Xu, J.; Zeng, T.; Li, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Tan, J. Absolute Position Sensing Based on a Robust Differential Capacitive Sensor with a Grounded Shield Window. Sensors 2016, 16, 680.

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