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Frontside-micromachined planar piezoresistive vibration sensor: Evaluating performance in the low frequency test range
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Using a surface piezoresistor diffusion method and front-side only micromachining process, a planar piezoresistive vibration sensor was successfully developed with a simple structure, lower processing cost and fewer packaging difficulties. The vibration sensor had a large sector proof mass attached to a narrow flexure. Optimization of the boron diffusion piezoresistor placed on the edge of the narrow flexure greatly improved the sensitivity. Planar vibration sensors were fabricated and measured in order to analyze the effects of the sensor dimensions on performance, including the values of flexure width and the included angle of the sector. Sensitivities of fabricated planar sensors of 0.09–0.46 mV/V/g were measured up to a test frequency of 60 Hz. The sensor functioned at low voltages (<3 V) and currents (<1 mA) with a high sensitivity and low drift. At low background noise levels, the sensor had performance comparable to a commercial device.
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