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The principle of a MEMS circular diaphragm mass sensor

Lookup NU author(s): Abd Ismail, Emeritus Professor James Burdess, Dr Alun Harris, Emeritus Professor Calum McNeilORCiD, Dr John Hedley, Dr Seung Chang, Dr Guillaume Suarez


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The paper presents the design principles of a degenerate mode resonant mass sensor in which the unloaded sensor takes the form of a cyclically symmetric structure. The simplest structure with these features is a circular diaphragm and its properties are exploited in this paper. Such structures support pairs of independent modes of vibration which share a common natural frequency and these are referred to as degenerate modes. If extra mass is added to the structure over predefined regions, then the degeneracy can be broken and this produces a separation of the previously identical frequencies. This frequency split is the output of the sensor and is proportional to the added mass. Such a sensor is self-compensating, and ambient effects which equally influence both modes, such as temperature and in-plane stress, do not add to the frequency split. A Lagrangian approach is used to derive the relationship between added mass and frequency split. © 2006 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ismail AK, Burdess JS, Harris AJ, McNeil CJ, Hedley J, Chang SC, Suarez G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

Year: 2006

Volume: 16

Issue: 8

Pages: 1487-1493

ISSN (print): 0960-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6439

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/0960-1317/16/8/008


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