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A high-precision and high-bandwidth MEMS-based capacitive accelerometer

: Utz, Alexander; Walk, Christian; Stanitzki, Alexander; Mokhtari, Mir; Kraft, Michael; Kokozinski, Rainer


IEEE Sensors Journal 18 (2018), Nr.16, S.6533-6539
ISSN: 1530-437X
Fraunhofer IMS ()
capacitive sensing; low noise; accelerometer; MEMS

In this paper, we present a capacitive, MEMS-based accelerometer comprising an ultra-low noise CMOS integrated readout-IC and a high-precision bulk micro machined sensing element. The resulting accelerometer reaches an acceleration equivalent noise of only 200 ng/√Hz, which makes it suitable for seismic measurement that require noise levels significantly below 1 μg/√Hz. Additionally, a high bandwidth of more than 5 kHz was achieved, which also makes the presented sensor system applicable for high-frequency measurements, e.g. in predictive maintenance applications for rotating machinery. The design of the sensing element and readout IC is presented in detail and measurement results are shown which demonstrate the performance of the sensor system.