Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMSDesign, fabrication, and characterization of out-of-plane W-form microsprings for vertical comb electrodes capacitive sensor
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The vertical comb electrodes capacitive sensor (VCECS) has been widely used in inertia sensors, resonant sensors, and pressure sensors, etc. In this paper, we present an improved microspring, called a W-form spring, that provides a large stiffness ratio in an out-of-plane direction while retaining a long sensing range for a VCECS. The stiffness ratio, defined as the ratio of the stiffness in the lateral direction to the out-of-plane direction, is an important parameter for determining the stability of the VCECS. To realize the properties of the W-form spring, such as the spring constant and stiffness ratio, theoretical analysis and numerical simulations are performed. In addition, VCECSs with W-form and other springs have been fabricated using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) micromachining technology. The spring constants of the sensor have been calculated from simulations and measured results. The characteristics among different suspension springs are compared. According to the numerical simulations and experiment results, the working range and stability of the device are both improved for the VCECS by using the W-form suspension spring.