In order to meet the requirement of high sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR), this study develops and optimizes a piezoresistive pressure sensor by using double silicon nanowire (SiNW) as the piezoresistive sensing element. First of all, ANSYS finite element method and voltage noise models are adopted to optimize the sensor size and the sensor output (such as sensitivity, voltage noise and SNR). As a result, the sensor of the released double SiNW has 1.2 times more sensitivity than that of single SiNW sensor, which is consistent with the experimental result. Our result also displays that both the sensitivity and SNR are closely related to the geometry parameters of SiNW and its doping concentration. To achieve high performance, a p-type implantation of 5 × 1018
and geometry of 10 µm long SiNW piezoresistor of 1400 nm × 100 nm cross area and 6 µm thick diaphragm of 200 µm × 200 µm are required. Then, the proposed SiNW pressure sensor is fabricated by using the standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) lithography process as well as wet-etch release process. This SiNW pressure sensor produces a change in the voltage output when the external pressure is applied. The involved experimental results show that the pressure sensor has a high sensitivity of 495 mV/V·MPa in the range of 0–100 kPa. Nevertheless, the performance of the pressure sensor is influenced by the temperature drift. Finally, for the sake of obtaining accurate and complete information over wide temperature and pressure ranges, the data fusion technique is proposed based on the back-propagation (BP) neural network, which is improved by the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. The particle swarm optimization–back-propagation (PSO–BP) model is implemented in hardware using a 32-bit STMicroelectronics (STM32) microcontroller. The results of calibration and test experiments clearly prove that the PSO–BP neural network can be effectively applied to minimize sensor errors derived from temperature drift.
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