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Sensors 2013, 13(5), 5720-5736; doi:10.3390/s130505720

Design and Characterization of a Fully Differential MEMS Accelerometer Fabricated Using MetalMUMPs Technology

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Oakland University, SEB 102n 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2013 / Revised: 24 April 2013 / Accepted: 25 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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This paper presents a fully differential single-axis accelerometer fabricated using the MetalMUMPs process. The unique structural configuration and common-centriod wiring of the metal electrodes enables a fully differential sensing scheme with robust metal sensing structures. CoventorWare is used in structural and electrical design and simulation of the fully differential accelerometer. The MUMPs foundry fabrication process of the sensor allows for high yield, good process consistency and provides 20 μm structural thickness of the sensing element, which makes the capacitive sensing eligible. In device characterization, surface profile of the fabricated device is measured using a Veeco surface profilometer; and mean and gradient residual stress in the nickel structure are calculated as approximately 94.7 MPa and −5.27 MPa/μm, respectively. Dynamic characterization of the sensor is performed using a vibration shaker with a high-end commercial calibrating accelerometer as reference. The sensitivity of the sensor is measured as 0.52 mV/g prior to off-chip amplification. Temperature dependence of the sensing capacitance is also characterized. A −0.021fF/°C is observed. The findings in the presented work will provide useful information for design of sensors and actuators such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and electrothermal actuators that are to be fabricated using MetalMUMPs technology.
Keywords: accelerometer; MetalMUMPs; capacitive sensor; fully differential sensing accelerometer; MetalMUMPs; capacitive sensor; fully differential sensing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Qu, P.; Qu, H. Design and Characterization of a Fully Differential MEMS Accelerometer Fabricated Using MetalMUMPs Technology. Sensors 2013, 13, 5720-5736.

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