A calibration technique for measuring MEMS strain sensor performance is described. The sensor calibration technique entails developing a repeatable relationship (gage factor) between the change in sensor nominal resistance and the strain measured at the sensor. The calibration technique involves creating a “pseudo” strain sensor consisting of a strain gage mounted on a silicon wafer. Two identical test specimens are evaluated: the pseudo sensor mounted (with adhesive) on an aluminum specimen (or embedded in a specimen), and a MEMS strain sensor mounted on an aluminum specimen (or embedded in a specimen). The dimensions of the silicon wafer for both the pseudo sensor and MEMS sensor are identical. The specimens are loaded by tensile test. For the pseudo sensor specimen, a relationship is established between the strain applied to the specimen (far field strain) and the strain at the sensor (near field strain). Once the relationship between near field and far field strain is known, a relationship between near field strain and change in resistance of the uncalibrated MEMs sensor is established. This relationship between strain at the sensor and change in resistance is the gage factor. Two different MEMS strain sensor designs were fabricated by patterning polysilicon on a 500 micron thick silicon wafer: monofilament and membrane sensors. Gage factors for the MEMS sensors were determined following the calibration procedure. The results also lead to a conclusion that wafer geometry influences the strain transfer to the sensor.

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