Read-out circuit design for 3D MEMS tactile sensor

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Dr. Bognár György
Department of Electron Devices

Sensors that accomplish artificial tactile perception have an increasing role among MEMS sensors (MEMS – Micro Eletro-Mechanical Systems). Industrial and medical applications require such devices that can be embedded into robotic hands and diagnostical apparatus. By their unique construction, the tactile sensor structures designed and produced by the common research and development activity of MTA-MFA and TactoLogic Ltd. are capable of sensing not only the magnitude but also the direction of the forces applied on them.  Though before turning into a full-ready product, several imperfections that are mainly caused by inauspicious thermal effects have to be eliminated.

During my former Students’ Scientific Circle and Project Laboratory works, together with my colleagues we performed thermal measurments on the sensor. After drawing the conclusions we designed a new MEMS structure that has more beneficial attributes, thus making thermal compensation easier.

After finalizing the design of the new sensor, taking advantage of its favorable thermal properties while bearing the industry-specific requirements in mind, as well with the consideration of the possibilities and limits of the CMOS technology available at the semiconductor laboratory of MTA-MFA, I have designed a digital readout and thermal compensator circuit which can be integrated on the very same chip with the sensor. This provides output and reference signals of which the thermally compensated values can be calculated by a computer program or an algorythm implemented by a digital circuit, which could also be integrated on the sensor chip.


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