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International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, ISSN 0973-4562 Vol.7 No.

11 (2012)
Research India Publications;

Design Of Mems Based Microcantilever Using Comsol Multiphysics

Suryansh Arora, Sumati, Arti Arora, P.J.George

Kurukshetra Institute of Technology & Management, Kurukshetra,

Abstract sensitive optical and capacitive methods have been developed

This paper presents the design simulations of MEMS based to measure changes in the static deflection of cantilever
micro-cantilever made up of single crystal silicon using FEM beams. The second is the formula relating the cantilever spring
(COMSOL Multiphysics). The cantilever structure on silicon constant to the cantilever dimensions and material
substrate with optimized silicon dioxide film has been constants:
simulated. The simulations results into the stress,
displacement, Eigen frequency and C-V characteristics
measurements of the cantilever. (2)

Keywords MEMS, FEM, stress, C-V, Eigen frequency. Where, F is force and w is the cantilever width [8].
The movement of the cantilever is effected by its length,
width, thickness and various properties of the material used to
Introduction make the structure. The geometric shape, as well as the
Now days, MEMS based MICROCANTILEVER has been material used to build the cantilever determines the
proven as an outstanding platform for extremely sensitive cantilever's stiffness. The analysis is done on the structure
chemical and biological sensors [1]. In the past decade micro having following dimensions which is shown in table 1.
cantilevers has become so popular due to its high sensitivity
selectivity, ease of fabrication and flexibility of on chip Table 1: Dimensions
circuits. Also it has become interesting due to convenience to
calibrate, readily deployable into integrated electromechanical Dimension Values
system and does not require external detection devices [2-5]. Length 60E-6
Many previous researches reported attempts made to improve Breadth 10E-6
the cantilever sensitivity using piezoresistive microcantilevers Thickness 1.5E-6
comprise of a polysilicon piezoresistor integrated with silicon
/ silicon-nitride cantilever [6-7]. These researches provided
thorough understanding and strong foundation on silicon- Fig. 1 shows the view of the microcantilever using
based microcantilevers. structural mechanics application mode of MEMS module of
This paper demonstrates the finite element method to COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS.
obtain the optimal performance of SiO2 based
microcantilevers sensor by optimizing the geometrical
dimension of cantilever. A thin layer of Si [100] was
integrated on rectangular SiO2 proof mask cantilever as
piezoresistive material. COMSOL Multiphysics, a
commercial finite element analysis tool for MEMS was used
to develop a finite element model of the SiO2 cantilever.

Fig. 1: View of the design

A cantilever is a beam anchored at only one end. The beam
carries the load to the support where it is resisted by moment
and stress. A Cantilever structure consists of greater length as The structure is made of silicon having properties shown
compare to its width with optimal thickness. Two equations in table 2:
are key to understand the behavior of MEMS cantilevers. The
first is Stoney's formula, which relates cantilever end Table 2: Chosen material properties
deflection to applied stress :
Material properties Values
Youngs modulus 0.2 GPa
(1) Density 2330 kg/m3
Poissons ratio 0.33
Where is Poisson's ratio, E is Young's modulus, L
is the beam length and t is the cantilever thickness. Very
International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, ISSN 0973-4562 Vol.7 No.11 (2012)
Research India Publications;

Silicon dioxide, Polysilicon and Silicon nitride was used

as film having properties given in table 3:

Table 3: Chosen material properties used as film

Material Material SiO2 Si3N4 Poly-

properties name Si
Youngs modulus(Pa) 70E9 250E9 160E9
Density (kg/m3) 2200 3100 2320
Poissons ratio 0.17 0.23 0.22

From the material properties and different analysis done,

SiO2 is found to be best analysis film for further simulation
due to ease of deposition and etching processes available

SIMULATION RESULTS Fig. 4: Cantilever Stress measurement

The schematic diagram of cantilever sensor model is shown in
Fig. 2. Similarly, Eigen frequency and frequency response is
calculated for the microcantilever. Fig. 5 show the frequency
response curve. The calculated Eigen frequency is 0.63 MHz.

Fig. 2: Deformed shape

The cantilever mechanical behavior in terms of

displacement with respect to variable load is shown in Fig. 3.
The result verifies the Hookes law which states that
stress is directly proportional to strain. Mathematically,
F=-kx (3)

Where, x is the displacement, F is the restoring force, k is Fig. 5: Frequency response curve
the spring constant.
The simulation results for capacitance versus voltage
graph are given in Fig. 6.
The voltage increases as the capacitance increases due to
applied voltage resulting in deflection of the beam in
downward direction.

Fig. 3: Cantilever Displacement measurement

Also, Fig. 4 shows the stress behavior of cantilever with

respect to variable load. It also obeys the Hookes law. Fig. 6: C-V characteristics
International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, ISSN 0973-4562 Vol.7 No.11 (2012)
Research India Publications;

Fig. 7 shows the result of the simulation in slice plot for

electric potential in micro-cantilever structure.

Fig. 7: Electric potential

MEMS based micro cantilever has been designed for a
resonance frequency of 0.63 MHz for an optimized cantilever
thickness of 1.5 m. The stress for this optimized beam is
found to be 4.47e6 pascals. The Capacitance-Voltage
characteristics are found to be linear.


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