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Group: MEMS_L

MEMS Microphone

A MEMS microphone can be designed, simulated and assembled on a PCB with a

soldering process. Sensitivity of MEMS microphone is more constant when exposed to high
temperature compare to electret microphone.[1] It has low diaphragm tension which can
increase diaphragm deflection, small gap to increase capacitance, high bias voltage and
large membrane radius that can increase both of capacitance and diaphragm
deflection.[2] A slotted diaphragm MEMS microphone has higher sensitivity as it has lower
circumferential suspension that can reduce initial stress, thus, its size can be minimized and
higher performance achieved.[3] Corrugated diaphragm MEMS microphone is used to
decrease its stiffness and the residual stress effect of sensitivity so that its sensitivity can
achieved five times more than flat one when the residual stress between 50 to 100 MPa.[4]
A spring-supported diaphragm with higher effective diaphragm area has less effective
diaphragm area ratio change rate and higher capacitance change compared to edge-
clamped flat diaphragm.[5]

Silicon MEMS technology produce surface mountable and reflow solderable

microphones. The perfect fit of simulation versus measurements of the sensitivity, signal to
noise ration and distortion enables deeper analysis and balancing of noise contributors and
double the signal to noise ratio.[6] MEMS microphones with narrow sensitivity distribution is
using a programming method to allow compensating the sensitivity variations. The even
narrower sensitivity deviation would be possible if the influence of the bias setting on the
sensitivity was characterized for each single device.[7] Specification chips can be
detected at early stage within the manufacturing process so that the adequacy for the
intended use of the pull-in voltage and its dependency on varying tensile stress due to
manufacturing tolerance is evaluated.[8] With photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS)
applications, it will improve the MEMS microphone in vibration sensitivity, size, cost and
ruggedness.[9] The capacitive-type MEMS microphone consists of an MEMS device which
had membrane part and back-plate part, for a hearing aid of sound visualization device
are the clue to achieve a MEMS microphone with high sensitivity and a wide frequency

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Development of silicon MEMS microphone has started a new era of MEMS

technology which provide an unlimited sky for manufacturing products with high uniformity
for mobile phone applications[11,12]. MEMS microphones have features which help in
overcoming the limitation of traditional electret condenser microphone (ECM) such as low
temperature effects on the performance, better acoustic performance and cheaper in
production[13]. With the technology platform of M&NEMS, the silicon piezo-resistive
nanogauges are suspended as detection in inertial sensor for miniaturization and
performance improvement purposes[14]. Thus, in order for the miniaturized microphones to
be utilized in mobile phone application, the aspects of low power consumption in
microphone integrated circuits should be improved[15].

Three basic types of microphone are introduced such as optical microphones,

condenser microphones and dynamic microphone. The electrostatic actuation
mechanisms and optical sensing are separable in the MEMS optical microphones to
produce the electrostatic force by actuating the grating diaphragm and detecting the
sound waves using optical intensity, and to prevent howling and electrical interference.[16]
By using both bulk and surface micromachining technology, a dual back-plate condenser
microphone which is also known as capacitive microphone has been designed to show
118dB of sound pressure level (SPL) than single back-plate condenser microphone of 140db
SPL.[17,18] A MEMS microphone with Helmholtz resonator (HR) for distance sensor to detect
ultrasonic waves is 14 times more sensitive than cantilever without HR. [19] MEMS
microphone can be applied to detect cardio sounds by converting sound pressure to
Intergraded Interchip-Sound (12S) or Pulse Density Modulation output analysis.[20]

The studies of reliability of MEMS microphone is important to enhance the

architecture of devices. MEMS microphone devices will breakdown under 153.4 MPa of
maximum Von Miser stress.[21] Also, MEMS microphone devices can survive under shock
levels range from 1.5kg to 80kg.[22] Dicing, infra-red (IR) microscopy and focused ion beam
(FIB) are some of the approaches of failure analysis for MEMS microphones.[23] Wearable
speech enhancement device provides voice recognition for disabled people using MEMS
microphone arrays with the Automatic Speech recognition (ASR) software, but ASR has met
difficulties for overlapping speech. Meanwhile, this issue may be solved by separating the
crosstalk cancellation method and spatial filtering’s combination.[24,25]

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Design of MEMS Microphone

Cross section of slotted diaphragm MEMS microphone

Cross section of spring supported diaphragm MEMS microphone

Cross section of corrugated diaphragm MEMS microphone

Poly-Silicon MEMS Microphone

Capacitive-type MEMS microphone

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MEMS microphones with narrow sensitivity distribution

Microphone design in PolyMUMPs

MEMS microphone without dedicated backplate

Schematic view of the active microphone system. The MEMS optical microphone consists
of three elements: a light source, a diaphragm and a photodetector. The diffraction
grating is formed in the diaphragm

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1. Gregor Feiertag, Matthias Winter, Anton Leidl, “Packaging of MEMS Microphones”,

Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS IV, Vol. 7362, 2009

2. Norizan Mohamad, Pio Iovenitti, Thurai Vinay, “High Sensitivity Capacitive MEMS
Microphone with Spring Supported Diaphragm”, Device and Process Technologies
for Microelectronics, MEMS, Photonics, and Nanotechnology IV, Vol. 6800, 2008

3. Bahram Azizollah Ganji, Burhanuddin Yeop Majlis, “Design and fabrication of a novel
single-chip MEMS capacitive microphone using slotted diaphragm”, J.
Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS, Vol. 8(2), Apr 2009

4. Jianmin Miao, Rongming Lin, Longqing Chen, Quanbo Zou, Sin Yee Lim, Suan Hee
Seah, “Design Considerations in Micromachined Silicon Microphones”, Design,
Modeling, and Simulation in Microelectronics, Vol. 4228, 2000

5. Norizan Mohamad, Pio Iovenitti, Thurai Vinay, “Effective Diaphragm Area of Spring-
Supported Capacitive MEMS”, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems IV, Vol. 7268,

6. Alfons Dehé, Martin Wurzer, Marc Füldner and Ulrich Krumbein, “Design of a Poly
Silicon MEMS Microphone for High Signal-to-Noise Ratio”, Solid-State Device
Research Conference (ESSDERC), pp 1099 – 1102, 2015

7. S. Walser a, C. Siegel b, M. Winter b, G. Feiertaga, M. Loibl a, A. Leidl b, “MEMS

microphones with narrow sensitivity distribution”, Sensors and Actuators A: Physical,
Volume 247, Pages 663–670, 2016

8. Florian Oesterle, Franz Fink, Harald Kuhn, Alfons Dehé, Robert Weigel, Alexander
Koelpin, “A large deflection model of silicon membranes for testing intrinsic stress of
MEMS microphones by measuring pull-In voltage”, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and
MEMS VI, Volume 8763, 2013

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9. Michael Pedersen, John McClelland, “Optimized capacitive MEMS microphone for

photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) applications”, Quantum Sensing and
Nanophotonic Devices II, Volume 5732, 2005

10. Young Hwa Lee, Youngdo Jung, Jun-Hyuk Kwak, Shin Hur, “Development of
capacitive-type MEMS microphone with CMOS amplifying chip”, International
Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing, Volume 15, Issue 7, pp 1423–
1427, 2014

11. G.W.Elko, F.Pardo, D.Lopez, D.Bishop, P.Gammel, “Capacitive MEMS Microphones”,

Bell Labs Technical Journal, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp187-198, 2005

12. Zhe Wang, Quanbo Zou, Qinglin Song, Jifang Tao, “The Era of Silicon MEMS
Microphone and Look Beyond”, GoerTek Inc., 2015

13. R.Grixti, I.Grech, O.Casha, J.M.Darmanin, E.Gatt, J.Micallef, “Feasibility Study of a

MEMS Microphone Design using the PolyMUMPs Process”, 2014

14. J.Czarny, A.Walther, B.Desloges, Ph.Robert, “New architecture of MEMS microphone

for enhanced performances”, MEMS Sensor Laboratory, 2013

15. C.D.Berti, P.Malcovati, L.Crespi, A.Baschirotto, “A Low-Power, Continuous-Time

Sigma-Delta Modulator for MEMS Microphones”, Session M3A – Sigma-Delta
Modulator, 2013

16. Kazuhiro Suzuki, Hideyuki Funaki and Yujiro Naruse, “MEMS optical microphone with
electrostatically controlled grating diaphragm”, Measurement Science and
Technology, 2 March 2006

17. Chee Wee Tan and Jianmin Miao, “Enhanced analytical model for micromachined
microphones”, Journal of Physics, Conference Series, Volume 34, 2006

18. D. T. Martin, K. Kadirvel, R. M. Fox, T. Nishider, J. Liu and M. Sheplak, “Surface and bulk
micromachined dual back-plate condenser microphone”, 18th IEEE International
Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, pp319 - 322, 2005

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19. Hidetoshi Takahashi, Akira Suzuki, Eiji Iwase, Kiyoshi Matsumoto and Isao Shimoyama,
“MEMS microphone with a micro Helmholtz resonator”, Journal of Micromechanics
and Microeengineering, 5 July 2012

20. Madhubabu Anumukonda, Swathi Ramasahayam, L. V. R Prasada Raju and

Shubhajit Roy Chowdhury, “Detection of cardio auscultation
using MEMS microphone”, IEEE Conference Publications, pp173 - 177, 2015

21. Fang Wenxiao and Huang Qinwen, “A study of the mechanical reliability of a MEMS
microphone”, Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA), 2013 20th
IEEE International Symposium on the, pp716-719, 15-19 July 2013

22. Li, J., Makkonen, J., Broas, M., Hokka, J., Mattila, T.T., Paulasto-Krockel, M., Meng, J.
and DasGupta, A., “Reliability assessment of a MEMS microphone under shock
impact loading”, Thermal, Mechanical and Multi-Physics Simulation and Experiments
in Microelectronics and Microsystems (EuroSimE), 2013 14th International Conference
on, 14 April 2013

23. J. Hokka, J. Raami, H. Hyvönen, M. Broas, J. Makkonen, J. Li, T. T. Mattila and M.

Paulasto-Kröckel, “Methods for reliability assessment of MEMS devices — Case
studies of a MEMS microphone and a 3-axis MEMS gyroscope”, Electronic
Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), 2012 IEEE 62nd, 29 May 2012

24. Palla, A., Fanucci, L., Sannino, R. and Settin, M. “Wearable speech enhancement
system based on MEMS microphone array for disabled people”, Design &
Technology of Integrated Systems in Nanoscale Era (DTIS), 2015 10th International
Conference on, 21 April 2015

25. Erich Zwyssig, Friedrich Faubel, Steve Renals and Mike Lincoln, “Recognition of
overlapping speech using digital MEMS microphone arrays”, Acoustics, Speech and
Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2013 IEEE International Conference on, 26 May 2013

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