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Proceedings Paper

Silicon accelerometers: generic design and operating principles and a case study
Author(s): Eric Peeters
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Paper Abstract

The generic design and operating principles of acceleration sensors are reviewed in terms of three partial transfer functions. An accelerometer's mechanical transfer function describes the conversion of an applied acceleration input into mechanical stress and strain in structural elements. Its electromechanical transfer function describes transduction of these elementary quantities of the mechanical energy domain into elementary quantities of the electrical domain. The electrical transfer function describes conversion of the elementary electrical quantities into an electrical output signal. The generic design issues and principles are highlighted for each of the partial transfer functions, within the boundary conditions of silicon implementations and against the widely varying background of diverse application areas. The case study of a bulk micromachined uniaxial capacitive micro-accelerometer illustrates a reduction to practice and demonstrates how accelerometer performance specifications are translated into silicon, based on the generic design principles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 1996
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 2882, Micromachined Devices and Components II, (17 September 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.250696
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Peeters, Xerox Wilson Ctr. for Research and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2882:
Micromachined Devices and Components II
Kevin H. Chau; Ray M. Roop, Editor(s)

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