Design and Implementation of a Bistable Force/Acceleration Sensing Device Considering Fabrication Tolerances

Erez Benjamin, Stella Lulinsky, Slava Krylov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report on a design methodology, fabrication, and characterization of a bistable actuator operated by a parallel-plate electrostatic transducer. The operational principle of the device, which can serve as a bifurcation-based contact-free force/acceleration sensor, is based on a pull-in voltage monitoring. Bistability appears due to the interplay between the hardening nonlinearity of straightened curved beams used as the compliant suspensions and softening nonlinearity of the electrostatic force directed along the beams. Careful mapping of the parameters at the design stage resulted in reduced device sensitivity to fabrication tolerances and allowed to ensure bistability, necessary for the functionality of the sensor. The devices were fabricated from silicon on insulator substrates using deep reactive ion etching and bistability was demonstrated experimentally. Acceleration was emulated using electrostatic force and sensitivity of 0.173 V/g was registered in experiments. Good agreement between the experimental results and the model predictions was observed. [2018-0031].

Original languageEnglish
Article number8418445
Pages (from-to)854-865
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Bistability
  • Compliant constrain
  • Curved microbeam
  • Force sensor
  • Pull-in

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