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MEAS Silicon MEMS Piezoresistive Accelerometer and its Benefits

Piezoresistive Accelerometers
1. Bonded Strain Gage type (Gages bonded to metal seismic mass using epoxy) Undamped Fluid (oil) damped 2. Silicon MEMS type (Gages defused into single piece of silicon) Undamped Gas damped circa 1980s circa 1990s circa 1950s circa 1960s

Piezoresistive Accelerometers

3 mm x 3 mm

Typical Bonded Strain Gage Sub-Assembly

MEAS Silicon MEMS Element

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers

How Silicon MEMS Accelerometers Work

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers


MEMS = Micro Electro Mechanical Systems

Works Like a Trampoline

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers


Silicon MEMS Construction:

Piezoresistive gages sense changes in stress and strain in the hinges (springs in the trampoline) under acceleration

The four springs are wired in a 4-arm Wheatstone Bridge configuration

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers


Silicon MEMS Construction, Cross-sectional View

Top Cap
Direction of acceleration

Thin air gap: Squeeze Film Damping

MASS

Bottom Cap

Piezoresistive gages are built into the hinges or springs of the trampoline

Mechanical stops to prevent overstress

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers


Squeeze-Film Gas Damping
cross sectional view
Direction of acceleration

top view

Extremely small airgaps between the moving seismic mass (in the middle) and the top/bottom caps facilitate squeeze film damping.

Damping is obtained from the integrated pressure profile at the surface of the sensor cell. Airgap thickness controls the effective damping ratio of the device.

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers


Typical Damping Ratios Using Squeeze-Film Technique
AMPLITUDE RESPONSE, MODEL 64 SERIES
30 25 20 15 10
Deviation in dB

5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -30 100.00

Q=0.05 2000g, Q=0.05 Q=0.3 2000g, Q=0.3 Q=0.4 1000g, Q=0.4 Q=0.4 500g, Q=0.4 Q=0.5 50g, Q=0.5

1000.00

10000.00

100000.00

Frequency [Hz]

Silicon MEMS Accelerometers

What are the Benefits?

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Low Off-Axis Sensitivity
Patented double-cantilever webbed design provides low off-axis sensitivity with minimum response to cross and rotation acceleration commonly found in dynamic testing.

Silicon MEMS sensor element

Sensor design with high rotational & translational stiffness

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Resonance Control & Broad Response
MEASs MEMS accelerometers offers the optimal amount of damping to achieve maximum resonance control when the sensor is exposed shock impact, and still maintains the broadest frequency response required by the various industry regulations, such as SAE-J211 and ISO-6487.

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Example of Resonance Control in Damped Accelerometer
9000 6000 3000 0g -3000 -6000 -9000
0 5 10 15 20 -- Undamped -- Damped

mS Undamped accelerometer resonated at its natural frequency after exposed to shock impulses

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Stable Response over Temperature
Compared to a fluid damped design in which damping characteristics changes dramatically with fluid viscosity at various temperature, frequency response of MEASs gas damped accelerometer is not affected by temperature.
FREQ (HZ) 1 10 100 1,000 200% 175% 150% 125% 75% 50% 25% 0% -25% -50% -75% AMP DEV (%) 100%

+25C BOTH -40C GAS -40C FLUID +100C GAS +100C FLUID

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Excellent Dynamic Range and Linearity
Compared to capacitive designs, MEASs silicon MEMS piezoresistive accelerometers offer much broader mesurement range and unmatched amplitude linearity.
Linearity of a Typical 2000g MEMS Accelerometer

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Shorter Warm-Up Time
After power is applied to the sensor, the zero offset of the accelerometer stabilizes as the heat generated by the gages reaches an equilibrium. In a MEAS design, the thermal imbalance in the full bridge configuration is kept to a minimum due to the uniform heating in all 4 active silicon gages. Competitors design using half-bridge configuration (2 active gages and 2 completion resistors) produces thermal imbalance due to uneven the heating characteristics that take much longer to reache an equilibrium.

MEAS MEMS Advantages MEAS


Benefit: Better Thermal Stability
With higher gage impedance, MEASs design comsumes considerably less power than competitors sensor, hence lower heat dissipation. Lower heat dissipation translates into higher thermal stability and faster warmup time.
Zero Output Stability, One Hour after Power-On
-5.3 voltage, mV -5.5 -5.7 -5.9 -6.1 -6.3 -6.5 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 time, seconds