The main objective of the project is to design and fabricate capacitive sensors capable of performing under harsh environments. The main focus of the project is to develop a strain gauge which measures strain at micron scale to improve the operational characteristics of its substrates in applications such as automotive and aerospace. Contrary to traditional and commercial strain gauges, temperature and aging have a relatively small influence on the sensitivity and precision of this type of sensor. Three major goals have been set for the course of research. The most prior goal is to resolve the cross-axis strain sensitivity using a mechanically compliant design. The next goals are to maintain high sensitivity, resolution and manufacturability for the sensor. This strain sensor is capable of measuring micro-strain (1e-6) with a gauge length less than 1 mm and also operates by in-situ mounting on the substrates. This static gauge maintains enough sensitivity and linearity over a wide range of temperatures and harsh environments. In particular, a differential capacitive method is used to transduce strain into an electrical signal via capacitive sensing. A high-g harsh environment resistant accelerometer is also part of the promise of this project. This accelerometer will be capable of high-g shock measurements.
Project end date: 08/12/08