A thin monocrystalline diaphragm pressure sensor using silicon-on-insulator technology
The sensors market is huge and growing annually, of this a large sector is pressure sensors. With increasing demands on performance there remains a need for ultraminiature, high performance pressure sensors, particularly for medicai applications. To address this a novel capacitive pressure sensor consisting of an array of parallel connected diaphragms has been designed and fabricated from SIMOX substrates. The benefits of this include single crystal silicon diaphragms, small, well controlled dimensions, single sided processing and the opportunity for electronics integration. Theoretical modelling of this structure predicts a high sensitivity and low stress device with opportunities for scaling to suit alternative applications. A novel, process technology was developed to achieve the required structure with the inclusion of procedures to address the specific issues relating to the SIMOX material. The sensor was fully characterised and the results demonstrated high performance compared with similar reported devices. Alternative structures such as cantilevers, bridges and resonators were fabricated as a demonstrative tool to show the feasibility of this technology in a wider field of applications.