Current CMOS-micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication technologies permit cardiological implantable devices with sensing capabilities, such as the iStents, to be developed in such a way that MEMS sensors can be monolithically integrated together with a powering/transmitting CMOS circuitry. This system on chip fabrication allows the devices to meet the crucial requirements of accuracy, reliability, low-power, and reduced size that any life-sustaining medical application imposes. In this regard, the characterization of stand-alone prototype sensors in an efficient but affordable way to verify sensor performance and to better recognize further areas of improvement is highly advisable. This work proposes a novel characterization method based on an atomic force microscope (AFM) in contact mode that permits to calculate the maximum deflection of the flexible top plate of a capacitive MEMS pressure sensor without coating, under a concentrated load applied to its center. The experimental measurements obtained with this method have allowed to verify the bending behavior of the sensor as predicted by simulation of analytical and finite element (FE) models. This validation process has been carried out on two sensor prototypes with circular and square geometries that were designed using a computer-aided design tool specially-developed for capacitive MEMS pressure sensors.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited