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A Review of the Capacitive MEMS for Seismology

Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Nazionale Terremoti, 00143 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3093;
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano and MEMS Sensors)
MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) sensors enable a vast range of applications: among others, the use of MEMS accelerometers for seismology related applications has been emerging considerably in the last decade. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the capacitive MEMS accelerometers: from the physical functioning principles, to the details of the technical precautions, and to the manufacturing procedures. We introduce the applications within seismology and earth sciences related disciplines, namely: earthquake observation and seismological studies, seismic surveying and imaging, structural health monitoring of buildings. Moreover, we describe how the use of the miniaturized technologies is revolutionizing these fields and we present some cutting edge applications that, in the very last years, are taking advantage from the use of MEMS sensors, such as rotational seismology and gravity measurements. In a ten-year outlook, the capability of MEMS sensors will certainly improve through the optimization of existing technologies, the development of new materials, and the implementation of innovative production processes. In particular, the next generation of MEMS seismometers could be capable of reaching a noise floor under the lower seismic noise (few tenths of ng/ Hz ) and expanding the bandwidth towards lower frequencies (∼0.01 Hz). View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; capacitive accelerometer; seismology; earthquake MEMS; capacitive accelerometer; seismology; earthquake
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D’Alessandro, A.; Scudero, S.; Vitale, G. A Review of the Capacitive MEMS for Seismology. Sensors 2019, 19, 3093.

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