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New CMOS-Compatible Mechanical Shear Stress Sensor

: Sutor, A.; Lerch, R.; Hohe, H.-P.; Gavesi, M.

IEEE Sensors Journal 1 (2001), Nr.4, S.345-351
ISSN: 1530-437X
Fraunhofer IIS ()

A new approach to the measurement of mechanical stresses is presented. The new sensor design utilizes the fact that shear stresses in the silicon lattice generate an electric field perpendicular to an electric current. The sensor effect is characterized by a new piezo-bridge-coefficient, which relates the sensitivity of the sensor structure to its crystallographic orientation. The sensor is based on a CMOS-compatible structure. It offers the possibility to realize highly sensitive single-element stress sensors for use in MEMS or in smart force measurement strips, as well. An example of a signal conditioning circuit is shown. Special designs with improved sensitivity and low noise are presented. The response to parasitic magnetic fields is measured and strongly reduced. Furthermore, the temperature behavior was analyzed and finally optimized.