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Sensors 2017, 17(9), 2103;

An Electrochemical, Low-Frequency Seismic Micro-Sensor Based on MEMS with a Force-Balanced Feedback System

Institute of Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Haidian District, Beijing 100190, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated MEMS Sensors for the IoT Era)
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Electrochemical seismic sensors are key components in monitoring ground vibration, which are featured with high performances in the low-frequency domain. However, conventional electrochemical seismic sensors suffer from low repeatability due to limitations in fabrication and limited bandwidth. This paper presents a micro-fabricated electrochemical seismic sensor with a force-balanced negative feedback system, mainly composed of a sensing unit including porous sensing micro electrodes immersed in an electrolyte solution and a feedback unit including a feedback circuit and a feedback magnet. In this study, devices were designed, fabricated, and characterized, producing comparable performances among individual devices. In addition, bandwidths and total harmonic distortions of the proposed devices with and without a negative feedback system were quantified and compared as 0.005–20 (feedback) Hz vs. 0.3–7 Hz (without feedback), 4.34 ± 0.38% (without feedback) vs. 1.81 ± 0.31% (feedback)@1 Hz@1 mm/s and 3.21 ± 0.25% (without feedback) vs. 1.13 ± 0.19% (feedback)@5 Hz@1 mm/s (ndevice = 6, n represents the number of the tested devices), respectively. In addition, the performances of the proposed MEMS electrochemical seismometers with feedback were compared to a commercial electrochemical seismic sensor (CME 6011), producing higher bandwidth (0.005–20 Hz vs. 0.016–30 Hz) and lower self-noise levels (−165.1 ± 6.1 dB vs. −137.7 dB at 0.1 Hz, −151.9 ± 7.5 dB vs. −117.8 dB at 0.02 Hz (ndevice = 6)) in the low-frequency domain. Thus, the proposed device may function as an enabling electrochemical seismometer in the fields requesting seismic monitoring at the ultra-low frequency domain. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrochemical seismic sensor; microfabrication; negative feedback; repeatability electrochemical seismic sensor; microfabrication; negative feedback; repeatability

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Li, G.; Wang, J.; Chen, D.; Chen, J.; Chen, L.; Xu, C. An Electrochemical, Low-Frequency Seismic Micro-Sensor Based on MEMS with a Force-Balanced Feedback System. Sensors 2017, 17, 2103.

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