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Molecular electronic transducer-based seismometer and accelerometer fabricated with micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques

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This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation

This thesis presents approaches to develop micro seismometers and accelerometers based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) technology using MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) techniques. MET is a technology applied in seismic instrumentation that proves highly beneficial to planetary seismology. It consists of an electrochemical cell that senses the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to the output current. MET seismometers have advantages of high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 1μm, which improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 3000 V/(m/s^2) under operating bias of 600 mV and input acceleration of 400 μG (G=9.81m/s^2) at 0.32 Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -127 dB equivalent to 44 nG/√Hz at 1 Hz. An alternative approach to build the sensing element of MEMS MET seismometer using SOI process is also presented in this thesis. The significantly increased number of channels is expected to improve the noise performance. Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is developed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet encapsulated by oil film. The fabrication process does not involve focused ion beam milling which is used in the micro MET seismometer fabrication, thus the cost is lowered. Furthermore, the planar structure and the novel idea of using an oil film as the sealing diaphragm eliminate the complicated three-dimensional packaging of the seismometer. The fabricated device achieves 10.8 V/G sensitivity at 20 Hz with nearly flat response over the frequency range from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 75 μG/√Hz at 20 Hz.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Molecular electronic transducer based seismic motion sensors micro-fabrication, packaging and validation

Description

The instrumentational measurement of seismic motion is important for a wide range of research fields and applications, such as seismology, geology, physics, civil engineering and harsh environment exploration. This report

The instrumentational measurement of seismic motion is important for a wide range of research fields and applications, such as seismology, geology, physics, civil engineering and harsh environment exploration. This report presents series approaches to develop Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) enhanced inertial motion sensors including accelerometers, seismometers and inclinometers based on Molecular Electronic Transducers (MET) techniques.

Seismometers based on MET technology are attractive for planetary applications due to their high sensitivity, low noise floor, small size, absence of fragile mechanical moving parts and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. By using MEMS techniques, a micro MET seismometer is developed with inter-electrode spacing close to 5 μm. The employment of MEMS improves the sensitivity of fabricated device to above 2500 V/(m/s2) under operating bias of 300 mV and input velocity of 8.4μm/s from 0.08Hz to 80Hz. The lowered hydrodynamic resistance by increasing the number of channels improves the self-noise to -135 dB equivalent to 18nG/√Hz (G=9.8m/s2) around 1.2 Hz.

Inspired by the advantages of combining MET and MEMS technologies on the development of seismometer, a feasibility study of development of a low frequency accelerometer utilizing MET technology with post-CMOS-compatible fabrication processes is performed. In the fabricated accelerometer, the complicated fabrication of mass-spring system in solid-state MEMS accelerometer is replaced with a much simpler post-CMOS-compatible process containing only deposition of a four-electrode MET structure on a planar substrate, and a liquid inertia mass of an electrolyte droplet. With a specific design of 3D printing based package and replace water based iodide solution by room temperature ionic liquid based electrolyte, the sensitivity relative to the ground motion can reach 103.69V/g, with the resolution of 5.25μG/√Hz at 1Hz.

By combining MET techniques and Zn-Cu electrochemical cell (Galvanic cell), this letter demonstrates a passive motion sensor powered by self-electrochemistry energy, named “Battery Accelerometer”. The experimental results indicated the peak sensitivity of battery accelerometer at its resonant frequency 18Hz is 10.4V/G with the resolution of 1.71μG without power consumption.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Electrical stimulus-based characterization for calibration and testing of MEMS accelerometer and gyroscope

Description

Micro-Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) is the micro-scale technology applying on various fields. Traditional testing strategy of MEMS requires physical stimulus, which leads to high cost specified equipment. Also there are

Micro-Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) is the micro-scale technology applying on various fields. Traditional testing strategy of MEMS requires physical stimulus, which leads to high cost specified equipment. Also there are a large number of wafer-level measurements for MEMS. A method of estimation calibration coefficient only by electrical stimulus based wafer level measurements is included in the thesis. Moreover, a statistical technique is introduced that can reduce the number of wafer level measurements, meanwhile obtaining an accurate estimate of unmeasured parameters. To improve estimation accuracy, outlier analysis is the effective technique and merged in the test flow. Besides, an algorithm for optimizing test set is included, also providing numerical estimated prediction error.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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A molecular electronic transducer based low-frequency accelerometer with electrolyte droplet sensing body

Description

"Sensor Decade" has been labeled on the first decade of the 21st century. Similar to the revolution of micro-computer in 1980s, sensor R&D; developed rapidly during the past 20 years.

"Sensor Decade" has been labeled on the first decade of the 21st century. Similar to the revolution of micro-computer in 1980s, sensor R&D; developed rapidly during the past 20 years. Hard workings were mainly made to minimize the size of devices with optimal the performance. Efforts to develop the small size devices are mainly concentrated around Micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) technology. MEMS accelerometers are widely published and used in consumer electronics, such as smart phones, gaming consoles, anti-shake camera and vibration detectors. This study represents liquid-state low frequency micro-accelerometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET), in which inertial mass is not the only but also the conversion of mechanical movement to electric current signal is the main utilization of the ionic liquid. With silicon-based planar micro-fabrication, the device uses a sub-micron liter electrolyte droplet sealed in oil as the sensing body and a MET electrode arrangement which is the anode-cathode-cathode-anode (ACCA) in parallel as the read-out sensing part. In order to sensing the movement of ionic liquid, an imposed electric potential was applied between the anode and the cathode. The electrode reaction, I_3^-+2e^___3I^-, occurs around the cathode which is reverse at the anodes. Obviously, the current magnitude varies with the concentration of ionic liquid, which will be effected by the movement of liquid droplet as the inertial mass. With such structure, the promising performance of the MET device design is to achieve 10.8 V/G (G=9.81 m/s^2) sensitivity at 20 Hz with the bandwidth from 1 Hz to 50 Hz, and a low noise floor of 100 ug/sqrt(Hz) at 20 Hz.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Low-frequency accelerometer based on molecular electronic transducer in galvanic cell

Description

In this thesis, an approach to develop low-frequency accelerometer based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) in an electrochemical cell is presented. Molecular electronic transducers are a class of inertial sensors

In this thesis, an approach to develop low-frequency accelerometer based on molecular electronic transducers (MET) in an electrochemical cell is presented. Molecular electronic transducers are a class of inertial sensors which are based on an electrochemical mechanism. Motion sensors based on MET technology consist of an electrochemical cell that can be used to detect the movement of liquid electrolyte between electrodes by converting it to an output current. Seismometers based on MET technology are attractive for planetary applications due to their high sensitivity, low noise, small size and independence on the direction of sensitivity axis. In addition, the fact that MET based sensors have a liquid inertial mass with no moving parts makes them rugged and shock tolerant (basic survivability has been demonstrated to >20 kG).

A Zn-Cu electrochemical cell (Galvanic cell) was applied in the low-frequency accelerometer. Experimental results show that external vibrations (range from 18 to 70 Hz) were successfully detected by this accelerometer as reactions Zn→〖Zn〗^(2+)+2e^- occurs around the anode and 〖Cu〗^(2+)+2e^-→Cu around the cathode. Accordingly, the sensitivity of this MET device design is to achieve 10.4 V/G at 18 Hz. And the sources of noise have been analyzed.

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Date Created
  • 2015