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Matsumoto, and I. Shimoyama The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan ABSTRACT
We developed a piezoresistive accelerometer using submicron cantilever. Since the thickness of cantilever is 300nm, it offers high resolution with the piezoresistance change is 1.9210-3 [G-1] even with a small proof mass made by spincoating 30m-thick KMPR-1035 photoresist on the surface. Furthermore the sensor functions as a lateral accelerometer by applying residual force to bend cantilever standing out of SOI wafer. deposited and patterned to make electrodes. In next step, front side Si is etched by DRIE forming the shape of cantilever. The proof mass is made by spincoating 30m KMPR 1050. Finally back side Si is etched by DRIE and cantilever is released from subtract by vaporizing HF to dissolve glass layer.

We conducted following experiment to evaluate the fabricated device. The device was attached with a reference accelerometer (KMX52-1050) to the same object and oriented at the same direction (Fig.4). Output voltage of the sensor and acceleration were measured when the object moving. The change of piezoresistance is calculated from the value of output voltage and amplified ratio. The result in Fig.5 shows that the change of piezoresistance and acceleration has good linear relation. The change of piezoresistance is 1.9210-3 [G-1] which is much higher than that value of [1] (0.4310-3 [G-1]), and [2] (0.3310-3 [G-1]). With a suply voltage of 2.5V and an amplified ratio of 250 times, the sensitivity of sensor is 1.2[V/G] and the resolution is 0.05[G].

Various mechanisms have been used in micro machine accelerometer. Among these mechanisms, piezoresistive device is a popular choice due to the advantages of simplicity of structure. There are several approaches to improve the sensitivity of piezoresistive accelerometer such as enlarging the proof mass or improving the structure of device. Li et al. designed a high sensitivity CMOS-MEMS accelerometer with a large proof mass made by using DRIE and isotropic Silicon etching process [1]. Haris et al. developed a single proof mass structure with two sensitive beams and one mechanical beam separated by a large gap [2]. This asymmetric gap enlarges the distance between piezoresistor and neutral plane which leads to a higher resolution. However these sensors have some disadvantages such as bulky structure and complicated fabricating process due to the micron thickness of cantilevers sensitive beam. In order to reduce the amount of proof mass and simplifier the structure of sensor, we designed an accelerometer using 300nm thick piezoresistive cantilever. Comparing with previous developed devices, our thin film sensor offer a high sensitivity even with a small proof mass formed by spincoating 30m-thick KMPR-1050 photoresist on the surface of cantilever. In addition, we fabricated standing cantilever by applying residual force occurred when releasing cantilever from SiO2 layer to measure lateral acceleration.

We have proposed a simple structure for lateral piezoresistive accelerometer using sub-micrometer thick cantilevers with the proof mass simply fabricated by spincoating KMPR-1050 photoresist on surface of cantilevers. The experimental result has proved that even with a small proof mass, our developed sensor offered a high sensitivity with the change of piezoresistance is 1.9210-3 [G-1].

[1]. Y. Li, Q. Zheng, Y. Hu, Y. Xu, Micromachined Piezoresistive Accelerometers Based on an Asymmetrically Gapped Cantilever, J. Microelectromech. Syst, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2011, pp. 83-94. [2]. M. Haris,H. Qu., A CMOS-MEMS Piezoresistive Accelerometer with Large Proof Mass, Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. NEMS 2010, pp.309-3126. [3]. K. Noda, K. Matsumoto, I. Shimoyama, Skin-type Tactile Sensor Using Standing Piezoresistive Cantilever for Micro Structure Detection, the 9th Annual IEEE Conf. on Sensors, Hawaii, USA, 1-4 November, 2010, pp. 2089-2092.


Principle The concept of sensor is showed in Fig.1. The piezoresistive layer is formed in hinge part of cantilever while the proof mass is formed in anchor part. The piezoresistance changes when cantilever is deformed by inertial force. Two cantilevers were bent in x and y direction in order to measure lateral accelerations. Fabrication The fabrication process is described in Fig. 2. First, P is doped into front side of 0.30.4300m SOI wafer to form n type piezoresistance [3]. Second, metal layer is

* H.P. Phan, Tel: 81-3-5841-6318; Email:

Figure 1: Concept of the sensor. Cantilevers are bent out of SOI wafer in order to measure lateral acceleration. Multi cantilevers could be fabricated on one chip at the same time.

Figure 3: Photograph of the fabricated device. Table 1: Parameters of cantilever Parameter w h tmass Value(m) 200 300 30 25 100 0.3

h hinge thinge

Figure 4: Experimental setup

Figure 2: Fabrication. 1.Dope P and deposit Au; 2.Pattern metal ,etch front Si to make the shape of cantilever; 3.Spincoat KMPR1035 photoresist to form proof mass; 4. Etch back Si by DRIE. The SiO2 layer was also etched slightly by overusing DRIE; 5. Strip SiO2 layer by HF. The residual force occurred between SiO2 layer and Si layer of hinge part bend cantilever standing out of wafer.

Figure 5: Experimental result. X-axis shows the value of acceleration measured by reference sensor, Y-axis shows the piezoresistance change of fabricated sensor.

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