The University of Southampton

Mechanical amplification in inertial sensors

SEM detail from the output of a mechanically amplified capacitive accelerometer.
Date:
2007-
Theme:
MEMs and NEMs
Funding:
Department

In this project the application of mechanical amplification in MEMS is investigated. In particular the scheme is applied in capacitive accelerometers to improve their performance in terms of sensitivity and bandwidth. Mechanical amplification can offer lower gain requirements of the interface circuitry, reduced noise, and increased sensitivity by mechanically enhancing the output signal prior to the interface circuitry. The proposed amplifying mechanism, implemented in a capacitive accelerometer, exploits the leverage principle by using micromachined microlevers to amplify the displacement of the proof-mass.

The ultimate goal of this research is to create an analytical framework for the application of mechanical amplification in inertial sensors and MEMS in general. Effectively, after the proof of concept this will be used to improve the sensitivity of other more complex sensors such as gyroscopes.

Primary investigators

  • Ioannis Zeimpekis-Karakonstantinos
  • Michael Kraft
  • Harold Chong

Associated research groups

  • Nano Research Group
  • Southampton Nanofabrication Centre
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