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Special Issue "MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thilo Sandner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Active Microoptical Components and Systems, Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS, Maria-Reiche-Straße 2, 01109 Dresden, Germany
Interests: optical MEMS (micro scanning mirrors); design, sensing and driving control of MEMS actuators, system design and integration of MOEMS for industrial (solid state LiDAR), spectroscopic and biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Gerald Gerlach
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of Solid State Electronics, Technische Universität Dresden and Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
Interests: physical and chemical sensors; modelling and simulation; functional materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jan Mehner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of Microsystems and Semiconductor Technologies, Technische Universität Chemnitz, 09111 Chemnitz, Germany
Interests: design of microsystems (MEMS); modeling and simulation of coupled fields; finite element methods (FEM) and boundary element methods (BEM); reduced order modeling (ROM) and design automation; application of microsystems for industrial automation, automotive and consumer products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Micromechanical actuators and sensors are essential parts of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). During the last three decades, they have benefited from the significant technological progress in microelectronics and microsystem technology. Besides the physical transducer principles (e.g. electrostatic, piezoelectric…) the MEMS devices can be differentiated according to their technology in bulk- and surface micro-machined devices commonly using crystalline silicon or thin film materials (e.g., poly-Si, TiAl-alloys…). Due to miniaturization and cost reduction, MEMS sensors (e.g., for yaw rate and acceleration) are indispensable components of everyday life (e.g., present in every smartphone or automobile). For MEMS actuators also high positioning speed, low power consumption, friction-free operation, and high reliability can be achieved. By combining actuator mechanisms, sensors for position feedback and microelectronic circuitry complete highly miniaturized servomechanism and mechatronic systems can be realized on the same chip at a low cost.

An increasing number of applications have been emerged for MEMS actuators and sensors. Practical examples are electrostatic MOEMS for optical applications, such as micro scanning mirrors with on-chip integrated position sensors, presently used in solid-state LIDAR systems for autonomous navigation, spectral tunable QCL-laser sources or highly miniaturized NIR spectrometers. Electrostatic out-of-plane comb drive MEMS actuators are now state of the art.

But we also consider completely new developments: For instance, CMOS-compatible piezoelectric actuators (e.g. based on AlNi or AlScNi) are highly attractive when lower driving voltages and power consumption are required for mobile systems, e.g. AR displays. CMUT and PMUT devices (capacitive and piezoelectric micro-machined ultrasonic transducer) can be used simultaneously for generation and sensing of ultrasonic waves and for fully integrated phased arrays needed for IoT-applications (e.g. for real-time machine diagnostics) or medical applications. Fluidic MEMS actuators and bio-chemical sensors are developed for pumps and valves of medical drug delivery, micro-reactors and lab-on-chip systems. Significant in-plane deflections can be realized by means of a novel class of electrostatic NED actuators, which are considered interesting for future use in acoustic (loudspeaker) or microfluidic (micro pump) applications. Due to low-damping of non-fluidic MEMS actuators, a sophisticated closed-loop position control is essential for practical applications. Although silicon is the dominant material in this field, other materials are also of interest in terms of novel MEMS actuators, such as smart hydrogels or shape memory alloys.

The objective of this Special Issue is to present actual and significant work in the field of MEMS actuators and sensors. Authors from academia and industry are kindly invited to share their research innovations in this field. We particularly welcome review articles and original research papers aiming to the related key issues of basic research, device and technology development, system integration, and practical application of MEMS actuators and sensors, with a special focus on combined MEMS actuator sensor systems.

This Special Issue invites but is not limited to contributions in the following topics:

  • Novel MEMS device concepts, sensor and actuation principles of transducers and micro actuators, e.g., electrostatic, electromagnetic, piezo-electric, thermal, pneumatic, levitation;
  • MEMS design, modeling and simulation of coupled fields and multi-physical domains;
  • Advanced simulation techniques and tools for MEMS (ROM, coupled simulation);
  • Closed-loop control and sensing of resonant and non-resonant MEMS driving;
  • Optical MEMS, e.g., micro scanning mirrors, spatial light modulators, Fabry–Perot filters;
  • CMUT and PMUT devices (capacitive and piezoelectric MEMS ultrasonic transducer);
  • Acoustical MEMS, e.g., MEMS loudspeakers based on NED actuation;
  • MEMS for fluidic and pneumatic MEMS, e.g., micro-valves and pumps, ink print heads;
  • Novel materials and MEMS fabrication technologies for micro-actuators and sensors, e.g., CMOS-compatible piezoelectric MEMS based on AlNi, AlSrNi or other novel materials, smart hydrogel sensors and actuators, shape memory alloy-based micro-actuators;
  • Results on calibration strategies, reliability and long-term stability of MEMS devices;
  • Practical application of micro-actuators and sensors, e.g., MOEMS-based solid-state LiDAR used for autonomous driving, tunable lasers, miniaturized NIR spectrometer, CMUT and PMUT array devices for IoT- and medical applications, fluidic MEMS actuators and bio-chemical sensors for biomedical applications in diagnostics, lab-on-chip and micro-reactors;
  • Review articles on MEMS-actuators and sensors, their technology progress, and application landscape.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Actuators.

Dr. Thilo Sandner
Prof. Dr. Gerald Gerlach
Prof. Dr. Jan Mehner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • micro-mechanical actuator
  • MEMS
  • MOEMS
  • micro-mirror
  • spatial light modulator
  • micro scanning mirror
  • resonant and non-resonant MEMS driving control
  • acoustical MEMS
  • microfluidic and hydraulic micro-actuators
  • CMOS compatible MEMS actuators

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
3D Simulation-Based Acoustic Wave Resonator Analysis and Validation Using Novel Finite Element Method Software
Sensors 2021, 21(8), 2715; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21082715 - 12 Apr 2021
Viewed by 861
Abstract
This work illustrates the analysis of Film Bulk Acoustic Resonators (FBAR) using 3D Finite Element (FEM) simulations with the software OnScale in order to predict and improve resonator performance and quality before manufacturing. This kind of analysis minimizes manufacturing cycles by reducing design [...] Read more.
This work illustrates the analysis of Film Bulk Acoustic Resonators (FBAR) using 3D Finite Element (FEM) simulations with the software OnScale in order to predict and improve resonator performance and quality before manufacturing. This kind of analysis minimizes manufacturing cycles by reducing design time with 3D simulations running on High-Performance Computing (HPC) cloud services. It also enables the identification of manufacturing effects on device performance. The simulation results are compared and validated with a manufactured FBAR device, previously reported, to further highlight the usefulness and advantages of the 3D simulations-based design process. In the 3D simulation results, some analysis challenges, like boundary condition definitions, mesh tuning, loss source tracing, and device quality estimations, were studied. Hence, it is possible to highlight that modern FEM solvers, like OnScale enable unprecedented FBAR analysis and design optimization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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Article
A Compensation Method for Nonlinear Vibration of Silicon-Micro Resonant Sensor
Sensors 2021, 21(7), 2545; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21072545 - 05 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
A compensation method for nonlinear vibration of a silicon micro resonant sensor is proposed and evaluated to be effective through simulation and experimental analysis. Firstly, the parameter characterization model of the silicon micro resonant sensor is established, which presents significant nonlinearity because of [...] Read more.
A compensation method for nonlinear vibration of a silicon micro resonant sensor is proposed and evaluated to be effective through simulation and experimental analysis. Firstly, the parameter characterization model of the silicon micro resonant sensor is established, which presents significant nonlinearity because of the nonlinear vibration of the resonant beam. A verification circuit is devised to imitate the nonlinear behavior of the model by matching the simulation measurement error of the frequency offset produced by the circuit block with the theoretical counterparts obtained from the model. Secondly, the principle of measurement error compensation is studied, and the compensation method dealing with nonlinear characteristics of the resonant beam is proposed by introducing a compensation beam and corresponding differential operations. The measurement error, compensation rate, and measurement residual between the two scenarios that use single beam and double beams, respectively, are derived and are compared with their simulation and experimental counterparts. The results coincide with the predicted trend, which verifies the effectiveness of the compensation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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Article
2D Scanning Micromirror with Large Scan Angle and Monolithically Integrated Angle Sensors Based on Piezoelectric Thin Film Aluminum Nitride
Sensors 2020, 20(22), 6599; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226599 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
A 2D scanning micromirror with piezoelectric thin film aluminum nitride (AlN), separately used as actuator and sensor material, is presented. For endoscopic applications, such as fluorescence microscopy, the devices have a mirror plate diameter of 0.7 mm with a 4 mm2 chip [...] Read more.
A 2D scanning micromirror with piezoelectric thin film aluminum nitride (AlN), separately used as actuator and sensor material, is presented. For endoscopic applications, such as fluorescence microscopy, the devices have a mirror plate diameter of 0.7 mm with a 4 mm2 chip footprint. After an initial design optimization procedure, two micromirror designs were realized. Different spring parameters for x- and y-tilt were chosen to generate spiral (Design 1) or Lissajous (Design 2) scan patterns. An additional layout, with integrated tilt angle sensors, was introduced (Design 1-S) to enable a closed-loop control. The micromirror devices were monolithically fabricated in 150 mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. Si (111) was used as the device silicon layer to support a high C-axis oriented growth of AlN. The fabricated micromirror devices were characterized in terms of their scanning and sensor characteristics in air. A scan angle of 91.2° was reached for Design 1 at 13 834 Hz and 50 V. For Design 2 a scan angle of 92.4° at 12 060 Hz, and 123.9° at 13 145 Hz, was reached at 50 V for the x- and y-axis, respectively. The desired 2D scan patterns were successfully generated. A sensor angle sensitivity of 1.9 pC/° was achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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Article
A Low-Cost Calibration Method for Low-Cost MEMS Accelerometers Based on 3D Printing
Sensors 2020, 20(22), 6454; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20226454 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
A ubiquitous sensor in embedded systems is the accelerometer, as it enables a range of applications. However, accelerometers experience nonlinearities in their outputs caused by error terms and axes misalignment. These errors are a major concern because, in applications such as navigations systems, [...] Read more.
A ubiquitous sensor in embedded systems is the accelerometer, as it enables a range of applications. However, accelerometers experience nonlinearities in their outputs caused by error terms and axes misalignment. These errors are a major concern because, in applications such as navigations systems, they accumulate over time, degrading the position accuracy. Through a calibration procedure, the errors can be modeled and compensated. Many methods have been proposed; however, they require sophisticated equipment available only in laboratories, which makes them complex and expensive. In this article, a simple, practical, and low-cost calibration method is proposed. It uses a 3D printed polyhedron, benefiting from the popularisation and low-cost of 3D printing in the present day. Additionally, each polyhedron could hold as much as 14 sensors, which can be calibrated simultaneously. The method was performed with a low-cost sensor and it significantly reduced the root-mean-square error (RMSE) of the sensor output. The RMSE was compared with the reported in similar proposals, and our method resulted in higher performance. The proposal enables accelerometer calibration at low-cost, and anywhere and anytime, not only by experts in laboratories. Compensating the sensor’s inherent errors thus increases the accuracy of its output. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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Article
Micromachined Vibrating Ring Gyroscope Architecture with High-Linearity, Low Quadrature Error and Improved Mode Ordering
Sensors 2020, 20(15), 4327; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20154327 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
A new micromachined vibrating ring gyroscope (VRG) architecture with low quadrature error and high-linearity is proposed, which successfully optimizes the working modes to first order resonance mode of the structure. The improved mode ordering can significantly reduce the vibration sensitivity of the device [...] Read more.
A new micromachined vibrating ring gyroscope (VRG) architecture with low quadrature error and high-linearity is proposed, which successfully optimizes the working modes to first order resonance mode of the structure. The improved mode ordering can significantly reduce the vibration sensitivity of the device by adopting the hinge-frame mechanism. The frequency difference ratio is introduced to represent the optimization effect of modal characteristic. Furthermore, the influence of the structural parameters of hinge-frame mechanism on frequency difference ratio is clarified through analysis of related factors, which contributes to a more effective design of hinge-frame structure. The designed VRG architecture accomplishes the goal of high-linearity by using combination hinge and variable-area capacitance strategy, in contrast to the conventional approach via variable-separation drive/sense strategy. Finally, finite element method (FEM) simulations are carried out to investigate the stiffness, modal analysis, linearity, and decoupling characteristics of the design. The simulation results are sufficiently in agreement with theoretical calculations. Meanwhile, the hinge-frame mechanism can be widely applied in other existing ring gyroscopes, and the new design provides a path towards ultra-high performance for VRG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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Article
Impacts of Residual Stress on Micro Vibratory Platform Used for Inertial Sensor Calibration
Sensors 2020, 20(14), 3959; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20143959 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
A micro vibratory platform driven by converse piezoelectric effects is a promising in-situ recalibration platform to eliminate the influence of bias and scale factor drift caused by long-term storage of micro-electro–mechanical system (MEMS) inertial sensors. The calibration accuracy is critically determined by the [...] Read more.
A micro vibratory platform driven by converse piezoelectric effects is a promising in-situ recalibration platform to eliminate the influence of bias and scale factor drift caused by long-term storage of micro-electro–mechanical system (MEMS) inertial sensors. The calibration accuracy is critically determined by the stable and repeatable vibration of platform, and it is unavoidably impacted by the residual stress of micro structures and lead zirconate titanate (PZT) hysteresis. The abnormal phenomenon of the observed displacement response in experiments was investigated analytically using the stiffness model of beams and hysteresis model of piezoelectric material. Rather than the hysteresis, the initial deflection formed by the residual stress of the beam was identified as the main cause of the response error around the zero position. This conclusion provides guidelines to improve the performance and control of micro vibratory platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Actuators and Sensors 2022)
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