Title:
High-resolution In-plane Tuning Fork Gyroscope And Methods Of Fabrication

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Abstract
A microstructure comprising an in-plane solid-mass electrically conductive tuning fork gyroscope and fabrication methods. The gyroscope is formed using substrate material having lower and upper layers sandwiching a sacrificial insulating layer. An exemplary gyroscope comprises a low-resistivity single-crystal silicon substrate having a lower support layer and an upper flexible support layer. Two opposed proof masses that are separated from the lower support layer lie in and are supported by the upper flexible support layer. Two drive electrodes are disposed adjacent to the proof masses and are insulatably supported by the lower support layer and are separated from the upper flexible support layer. Sense, balance and tuning electrodes are disposed adjacent to the proof masses and are insulatably supported by the lower support layer and are separated from the upper flexible support layer. The operational mode shapes are in-plane with the substrate surface and only measures angular motion that are orthogonal to the plane of the substrate. The microstructure flexural design enables the sense and the drive resonant frequencies to occur in close proximity of one another. This enables matched-mode operation of the device thereby ensuring maximum sensitivity.
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5/16/2006
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