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Proceedings Paper

MEMS-based Fabry-Perot vibration sensor for harsh environments
Author(s): P. M. Nieva; N. E. McGruer; G. G. Adams
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the design, fabrication and testing results of a Fabry-Perot Micro-Opto-Mechanical Device (FPMOD) used as a vibration sensor. The un-cooled high-temperature operational capability of the FPMOD provides a viable low-cost alternative to sensors that require environmentally controlled packages to operate at high temperature. The FPMOD is a passive MEMS device that consists of a micromachined cavity formed between a substrate and a top thin film structure in the form of a cantilever beam. When affixed to a vibrating surface, the amplitude and frequency of vibration are determined by illuminating the FPMOD with a monochromatic light source and analyzing the back reflected light to determine the deflection of the beam with respect to the substrate. Given the Fabry-Perot geometry, a mechanical transfer function is calculated to permit the substrate motion to be determined from the relative motion of the beam with respect to the substrate. Because the thin film cantilever beam and the substrate are approximately parallel, this convenient two-mirror cavity arrangement needs no alignment, no reference arm, and no sophisticated stabilization techniques. The small size of the FPMOD (85-175μm), the choice of materials in which it can be manufactured (Silicon Nitride and Silicon Carbide), and its simple construction make it ideal for harsh high-temperature applications. Relative displacements in the sub-nanometer range have been measured and close agreement was found between the measured sensor frequency response and the theoretical predictions based on analytical models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6174, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, 617426 (11 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658839
Show Author Affiliations
P. M. Nieva, Univ. of Waterloo (Canada)
N. E. McGruer, Northeastern Univ. (United States)
G. G. Adams, Northeastern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6174:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems
Masayoshi Tomizuka; Chung-Bang Yun; Victor Giurgiutiu, Editor(s)

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