Title:
Capacitive Microaccelerometers And Fabrication Methods

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Disclosed are moveable microstructures comprising in-plane capacitive microaccelerometers, with submicro-gravity resolution (<200 ng/√Hz) and very high sensitivity (>17 pF/g). Themicrostructures are fabricated in thick(> 100 µm) siliconon-insulator (SOI) substrates or silicon substrates using a two-mask fully-dry release process that provides large seismic mass (> 10 milli-g), reduced capacitive gaps, and reduced in-plane stiffness. Fabricated devices may be interfaced to a high resolution switched-capacitor CMOS IC that eliminates the need for area-consuming reference capacitors. The measured sensitivity is 83 mV/mg (17 pF/g) and the output noise floor is -91 dBm/Hz at 10 Hz (corresponding to an acceleration resolution of 170 ng/√Hz). The IC consumes 6 mW power and measures 0.65 mm2 core area.
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7/20/2010
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