Physical Sensors & Devices

Research that includes:

  • Silicon MEMS actuators: comb, electro-thermal, and plastic deformation
  • Precision electronic sensing and measurements of capacitive, frequency, and coulombic MEMS variables
  • Structures and architectures for gyroscopes, accelerometers, micro strain gauges for direct application to rigid structures e.g., steel, and levitated MEMS

BEB19: Low-Power High-Performance Analog-to-Digital Converters

Dimitrios Katsis

Develop enabling circuit techniques to increase the compatibility of high performance analog-to-digital converters with deep sub-micron technologies.

Project end date: 08/01/06

DAH4: Strain Sensors for Wind Turbines

Bill Allan

An optical interrogation system for fiber Bragg grating (FBG) strain sensors suitable for use in wind turbine blade (WTB) composite I-beam structures has been developed and tested. An off-the-shelf MEMS-based tunable Fabry-Perot etalon is controlled with a real-time embedded digital signal processor to manage calibration, scanning, signal processing and communications with a host system. A single superluminescent diode sources broadband light to illuminate a single or arrayed set of FBG sensors. Reflected light from the sensors are routed to a photodiode, and is correlated with...

BPN346: TFT Modeling for Single Transistor Sensors

Ya-Mei Chen

This project’s goal is to simulate a bottom-gated, amorphous silicon thin-film transistor’s (a-Si TFT) response to strain caused by a chitosan layer over it.

Project end date: 01/24/07

APP83: MEMS Strain Gauge on Steel - Miniaturization of Transduction Circuits

Anand Jog
David Myers

The Research and Development proposed herein will improve the operating characteristics of traditional machine elements and the applications to which they contribute through the development and application of MEMS microstructures in two major categories. First, we will develop low-cost MEMS strain-sensing modules and the means to rapidly bond them to steel and other structures in large quantities. In addition to wire-based solutions, we will also develop modules for wireless data telemetry and power coupling to enable total systems-level solutions for the MEMS sensor modules. This...

APP56/OO: Thermally-induced residual stresses in MEMS sensors

Bayram Orazov

In the course of eutectically bonding MEMS sensors to a substrate, residual thermal stresses can be induced in the sensor. These stresses have the potential to bias sensor signals, damage encapsulation and alter the operational range of the device. Using thermo- mechanical analyses, the goal of this work is to characterize the residual stresses and seek ways to ameliorate their effects on sensor packaging and operation.

Project end date: 08/14/07

BPN411: Tribology Test Chip for Contacting NEMS design

Donovan Lee

Tribological effects such as surface stiction and charging are not well understood. This research aims to develop test structures to study these phenomenon and give designers an understanding of the challenges we will face as NEMS devices scale. All-electronic metrology is proposed for this tribology chip, which is a departure from the traditional method of optical inspection for MEMS devices.

Project end date: 01/08/08

BPN365: MEMS Metal Gimbal: Design and Fabrication

Chris McCoy

The UC Berkeley MicroGimbal research project strives to parametrically optimize a 2DOF, torsional comb drive actuated gimbal platform that will support and position mm-scale imaging devices. Design parameters to be optimized in this feasibility study include but are not limited to: bandwidth, resonant frequency, payload capability, system mass, and degree of rotation. This two-student research team ultimately seeks to attain performance measures of low power consumption (P < 2W), large gimbal deflection (θ = +/- 30 deg.), high z-stiffness, high bandwidth, and high resonant...

BPN370: MEMS Metal Gimbal: Design and FEM

Ya-Mei Chen

The long range goal of this research is to analyze the a UC Berkeley designed MircoGimbal with a finite element method (FEM) simulator, ANSYS, to achieve design optimization. A fundamental design goal of the MicroGimbal is to maximize the rotation angle (current target is +/- 30 degrees) while minimizing the stress. TheorticallyTheoretically, it can be obtained by having cross section with low moment of inertia and long length . However, low moment of inertia and long length reduce the beams ability to support the payload in z-direction. Due to these competing phenomena, optimization...

BPN303: MEMS Biopolymer: Polymer Coated Cantilevers for Infrared Heat Sensing

Michael T. Mueller

The goal of this research is to use biomimetics to develop an uncooled, photomechanic infrared sensor formed from a cantilever bimorph. One side of the bimorph uses chitin (or potentially other polymers) in order to achieve a high thermal mismatch and maximize deflection. The objective is to maximize deflection for a given amount of incidient infrared radiation. Our design is inspired by the jewel beetle Melanophila acuminata, which has an IR-sensitive pit organ for the remote detection of forest fires, an evolutionary advantage that allows it to lay eggs in an area free of predators...

KSJP4: Microrobots

Sarah Bergbreiter

Our goal is to create a class of autonomous microrobots with a volume of less than 1cm3. We previously reported an autonomous micromachined silicon legged robot which took its first steps. The body of the robot was fabricated in a planarized silicon-on-insulator (SOI), two-layer polysilicon process and was 8 mm x 4 mm x 0.3 mm in size. The complete robot had two additional ICs, a solar cell and high voltage buffer chip along with a low-voltage CMOS chip for sequencing. However, due to the processing complexity and fragility of these robots, we are investigating new processing and...