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Proceedings Paper

Thick polysilicon surface-micromachined optically sensed accelerometer
Author(s): Yi-Hsing Chen; Yvonne Y. Wang; Norman C. Tien
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Paper Abstract

An accelerometer based on optical intensity modulation has been designed and fabricated using thick-polysilicon (12 micrometer) surface-micromachining technology. A layer of polysilicon is surface micromachined to form a grating connected to springs, which are anchored on the silicon substrate. A layer of metal is evaporated on the top of the entire device making the suspended grating opaque as well as the regions on the substrate that are exposed by the grating. This leaves the areas directly beneath the grating shadowed from incident light. In the unperturbed state, the light that shines on the device is completely reflected by the metal on top of the entire device. When the grating moves under the influence of acceleration, the areas which are not covered by the metal are then exposed and the amount of light passing through the substrate increases. The optical intensity variation translates to the acceleration experienced by the grating proof mass. Twelve micrometer thick polysilicon surface micromachining was developed to improve the performance of the device. The film's mechanical qualities, internal stain, stress gradient and surface roughness have been characterized. This optical accelerometer has a sensitivity of 70 milli-g with 0.5-micron movement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3630, Silicon-based Optoelectronics, (19 March 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.342790
Show Author Affiliations
Yi-Hsing Chen, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Yvonne Y. Wang, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Norman C. Tien, Cornell Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3630:
Silicon-based Optoelectronics
Derek C. Houghton; Eugene A. Fitzgerald, Editor(s)

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