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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 387;

A Low-G Silicon Inertial Micro-Switch with Enhanced Contact Effect Using Squeeze-Film Damping

Microsystem Research Center, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
Key Laboratory of Fundamental Science of Micro/Nano-Device and System Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mustafa Yavuz
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS and Nano-Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3624 KB, uploaded 16 February 2017]   |  


Contact time is one of the most important properties for inertial micro-switches. However, it is usually less than 20 μs for the switch with rigid electrode, which is difficult for the external circuit to recognize. This issue is traditionally addressed by designing the switch with a keep-close function or flexible electrode. However, the switch with keep-close function requires an additional operation to re-open itself, causing inconvenience for some applications wherein repeated monitoring is needed. The switch with a flexible electrode is usually fabricated by electroplating technology, and it is difficult to realize low-g switches (<50 g) due to inherent fabrication errors. This paper reports a contact enhancement using squeeze-film damping effect for low-g switches. A vertically driven switch with large proof mass and flexible springs was designed based on silicon micromachining, in order to achieve a damping ratio of 2 and a threshold value of 10 g. The proposed contact enhancement was investigated by theoretical and experimental studies. The results show that the damping effect can not only prolong the contact time for the dynamic acceleration load, but also reduce the contact bounce for the quasi-static acceleration load. The contact time under dynamic and quasi-static loads was 40 μs and 570 μs, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: inertial switch; acceleration switch; MEMS; contact time; squeeze-film damping inertial switch; acceleration switch; MEMS; contact time; squeeze-film damping

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Peng, Y.; Wen, Z.; Li, D.; Shang, Z. A Low-G Silicon Inertial Micro-Switch with Enhanced Contact Effect Using Squeeze-Film Damping. Sensors 2017, 17, 387.

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