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Design and optimization of fully differential capacitive MEMS accelerometer based on surface micromachining

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In this paper, design and simulation of a single-axial, capacitive, fully differential MEMS accelerometer based on surface micromachining with two proof masses is presented. So far, most surface micromachined capacitive accelerometers offered, employed differential interface circuits to measure capacitor variations. However, in the presented structure, the possibility of fully differential design is realized by dividing the proof mass to two electrically isolated parts that are located on a silicon nitride layer. By utilizing two proof masses and altering outputs and stimulation voltage, parasitic capacitor is reduced and the sensitivity is increased. Moreover, some sensor capacitors are embedded inside the proof mass, so that sensitivity could be increased in the limited area and electrode length could be reduced. Furthermore, analytic equations are derived to calculate the sensitivity, as well to optimize the sensor structure. The designed sensor has been simulated and optimized using COMSOL Multiphysics, where the simulation results show the mechanical and capacitive sensitivity of 29.8 nm/g and 15.8 fF/g, respectively. The sensor size is 1 mm × 1 mm that leads to excellent performance, regarding to the defined figure of merit.

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Correspondence to Javad Yavand Hasani.

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Keshavarzi, M., Yavand Hasani, J. Design and optimization of fully differential capacitive MEMS accelerometer based on surface micromachining. Microsyst Technol 25, 1369–1377 (2019).

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