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Sensors 2008, 8(4), 2642-2661;

High Sensitivity MEMS Strain Sensor: Design and Simulation

Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2008 / Accepted: 13 March 2008 / Published: 14 April 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [768 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


In this article, we report on the new design of a miniaturized strain microsensor. The proposed sensor utilizes the piezoresistive properties of doped single crystal silicon. Employing the Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, high sensor sensitivities and resolutions have been achieved. The current sensor design employs different levels of signal amplifications. These amplifications include geometric, material and electronic levels. The sensor and the electronic circuits can be integrated on a single chip, and packaged as a small functional unit. The sensor converts input strain to resistance change, which can be transformed to bridge imbalance voltage. An analog output that demonstrates high sensitivity (0.03mV/me), high absolute resolution (1μe) and low power consumption (100μA) with a maximum range of ±4000μe has been reported. These performance characteristics have been achieved with high signal stability over a wide temperature range (±50oC), which introduces the proposed MEMS strain sensor as a strong candidate for wireless strain sensing applications under harsh environmental conditions. Moreover, this sensor has been designed, verified and can be easily modified to measure other values such as force, torque…etc. In this work, the sensor design is achieved using Finite Element Method (FEM) with the application of the piezoresistivity theory. This design process and the microfabrication process flow to prototype the design have been presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; Strain Sensor; Piezoresistive; Simulation; Microfabrication; Finite Element Modeling MEMS; Strain Sensor; Piezoresistive; Simulation; Microfabrication; Finite Element Modeling
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mohammed, A.A.S.; Moussa, W.A.; Lou, E. High Sensitivity MEMS Strain Sensor: Design and Simulation. Sensors 2008, 8, 2642-2661.

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