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21 May 2015 Investigation of diaphragm deflection of an absolute MEMS capacitive polysilicon pressure sensor
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This paper deals with the characteristics of circular shaped polysilicon pressure sensor diaphragms operating in the non-tactile mode. Using a phase shifting interferometer the main characteristics of diaphragms were investigated under applied pressure with respect to sensitivity, initial deflection and cavity height. Diaphragms with a thickness of 1 μm and a diameter of 96 μm were investigated in an intended pressure range of applied pressure of about 700 – 2000 hPa. Process parameters with major impact on performance and yield limitations were identified. These include the variance in diaphragm sensitivity and the impact of the variance of the sacrificial oxide layer defining the diaphragm cavity height on the contact pressure point. The sensitivity of these diaphragms including the variance was found to be - 19.8 ± 1.3 nm per 100 hPa. The impact of variance in the cavity height on the contact pressure point was found to be about 3.7 ± 0.5 hPa per nm. Summarizing both impacts a maximum variation of the contact pressure point of more than 450 hPa is possible to occur considering a nominal deflection of 300 nm. By optimizing the process of diaphragm deposition the variance in the sensitivity of the diaphragm was decreased by a factor of 2. A semi – empirical formula was evaluated that describes the deflection including initial deflection due to intrinsic stress and the process variations. A validation to the experimental obtained deflection lines showed a good agreement with deviations of less than 2 % for radial ranges of maximum deflection.
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C. Walk, A. Goehlich, A. Giese, M. Goertz, H. Vogt, and M. Kraft "Investigation of diaphragm deflection of an absolute MEMS capacitive polysilicon pressure sensor", Proc. SPIE 9517, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS VII; and Cyber Physical Systems, 95170T (21 May 2015);

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