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Material selection for optimum design of MEMS pressure sensors

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Mehmood, Zahid 
Udrea, Florin 


Abstract: Choice of the most suitable material out of the universe of engineering materials available to the designers is a complex task. It often requires a compromise, involving conflicts between different design objectives. Materials selection for optimum design of a Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) pressure sensor is one such case. For optimum performance, simultaneous maximization of deflection of a MEMS pressure sensor diaphragm and maximization of its resonance frequency are two key but totally conflicting requirements. Another limitation in material selection of MEMS/Microsystems is the lack of availability of data containing accurate micro-scale properties of MEMS materials. This paper therefore, presents a material selection case study addressing these two challenges in optimum design of MEMS pressure sensors, individually as well as simultaneously, using Ashby’s method. First, data pertaining to micro-scale properties of MEMS materials has been consolidated and then the Performance and Material Indices that address the MEMS pressure sensor’s conflicting design requirements are formulated. Subsequently, by using the micro-scale materials properties data, candidate materials for optimum performance of MEMS pressure sensors have been determined. Manufacturability of pressure sensor diaphragm using the candidate materials, pointed out by this study, has been discussed with reference to the reported devices. Supported by the previous literature, our analysis re-emphasizes that silicon with 110 crystal orientation [Si (110)], which has been extensively used in a number of micro-scale devices and applications, is also a promising material for MEMS pressure sensor diaphragm. This paper hence identifies an unexplored opportunity to use Si (110) diaphragm to improve the performance of diaphragm based MEMS pressure sensors.



Technical Paper

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Microsystem Technologies

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg
British Council and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (KEP-031, KEP-031)