Development of the technology for a 3D force sensor

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Horváth Veronika
Department of Electron Devices

This days MEMS devices are playing an important role in almost all fields of life, such as car-electronics systems. Their size, reliability and the fact, that the microelectronic technologies applied in the manufacturing had been already well developed indicate their popularity.

During my work I’ve been joining the research and development of a force sensor, carried out in the MEMS laboratory of Research Institute for Technical Physics and Material Sciences of Hungarian Academy of Science (MTA-MFA). This sensor is actually capable to measure the three components of the force vector. There are a huge amount of areas, where we could apply such a device, from medical sciences through military usage, to domestic electronics.

In my report I’ll give an overview of all steps of design and manufacturing which are necessary to get from the idea to the complete solution. According to the preliminary plans and considerations, I have used Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis to calculate our sensor’s sensitivity and the maximum load it could bear during the expected circumstances. In a second simulation with FEM I have examined the effects of different geometric parameters on the main properties of the sensor, such as sensitivity.

These results provided the base for the design of new structures and new photolitographic masks with different geometrical shape. I’ll present the masks and give an overview of the manufacturing procedure with special respect to the critical steps, like the deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) technology and the packaging of the complete sensors.

The final part describes the characterisation process of the force sensor. Our first efforts trend towards the definition of its mechanical parameters and especially the limiting values of operation. However the most exciting question is how the results of the FEM analysis fit the measured data. My report answers the question.


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