K P Venkatesh
Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 34 Issue 4 August 2009 pp 633-642
In this paper, we present the design and characterization of a vibratory yaw rate MEMS sensor that uses in-plane motion for both actuation and sensing. The design criterion for the rate sensor is based on a high sensitivity and low bandwidth. The required sensitivity of the yaw rate sensor is attained by using the inplane motion in which the dominant damping mechanism is the ﬂuid loss due to slide ﬁlm damping i.e. two–three orders of magnitude less than the squeeze-ﬁlm damping in other rate sensors with out-of-plane motion. The low bandwidth is achieved by matching the drive and the sense mode frequencies. Based on these factors, the yaw rate sensor is designed and ﬁnally realized using surface micromachining. The inplane motion of the sensor is experimentally characterized to determine the sense and the drive mode frequencies, and corresponding damping ratios. It is found that the experimental results match well with the numerical and the analytical models with less than 5% error in frequencies measurements. The measured quality factor of the sensor is approximately 467, which is two orders of magnitude higher than that for a similar rate sensor with out-of-plane sense direction.
Volume 34 Issue 4 August 2009 pp 651-661
MEMS resonators are designed for a ﬁxed resonant frequency. Therefore, any shift in the resonant frequency of the ﬁnal fabricated structure can be a denting factor for its suitability towards a desired application. There are numerous factors which alter the designed resonant frequency of the fabricated resonator such as the metal layer deposited on top of the beam and the residual stresses present in the fabricated structure. While the metal coating, which acts as electrode, increases the stiffness and the effective mass of the composite structure, the residual stress increases or decreases the net stiffness if it is a tensile or compressive type respectively. In this paper, we investigate both these cases by taking two different structures, namely, the micro cantilever beam with gold layer deposited on its top surface and the MEMS gyroscope with residual stresses. First, we carry out experiments to characterize both these structures to ﬁnd their resonant frequencies. Later, we analytically model those effects and compare them with the experimentally obtained values. Finally, it is found that the analytical models give an error of less than 10% with respect to the experimental results in both the cases.
Volume 34 Issue 4 August 2009 pp 663-675
One of the critical issues in large scale commercial exploitation of MEMS technology is its system integration. In MEMS, a system design approach requires integration of varied and disparate subsystems with one of a kind interface. The physical scales as well as the magnitude of signals of various subsystems vary widely. Known and proven integration techniques often lead to considerable loss in advantages the tiny MEMS sensors have to offer. Therefore, it becomes imperative to think of the entire system at the outset, at least in terms of the concept design. Such design entails various aspects of the system ranging from selection of material, transduction mechanism, structural conﬁguration, interface electronics, and packaging. One way of handling this problem is the system-in-package approach that uses optimized technology for each function using the concurrent hybrid engineering approach. The main strength of this design approach is the fast time to prototype development. In the present work, we pursue this approach for a MEMS load cell to complete the process of system integration for high capacity load sensing. The system includes; a micromachined sensing gauge, interface electronics and a packaging module representing a system-in-package ready for end characterization. The various subsystems are presented in a modular stacked form using hybrid technologies. The micromachined sensing subsystem works on principles of piezo-resistive sensing and is fabricated using CMOS compatible processes. The structural conﬁguration of the sensing layer is designed to reduce the offset, temperature drift, and residual stress effects of the piezo-resistive sensor. ANSYS simulations are carried out to study the effect of substrate coupling on sensor structure and its sensitivity. The load cell system has built-in electronics for signal conditioning, processing, and communication, taking into consideration the issues associated with resolution of minimum detectable signal. The packaged system represents a compact and low cost solution for high capacity load sensing in the category of compressive type load sensor.