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An x-axis single-crystalline silicon microgyroscope fabricated by the extended SBM process

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5 Author(s)
Jongpal Kim ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Seoul Nat. Univ., South Korea ; Sangjun Park ; Kwak, D. ; Hyoungho Ko
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A high-aspect ratio, single-crystal line silicon x-axis microgyroscope is fabricated using the extended sacrificial bulk micromachining (SBM) process. The x-axis microgyroscope in this paper uses vertically offset combs to resonate the proof mass in the vertical plane, and lateral combs to sense the Coriolis force in the horizontal plane. This requires fabricating vertically and horizontally moving structures for actuation and sensing, respectively, which is very difficult to achieve in single-crystalline silicon. However, single-crystalline silicon high-aspect ratio structures are preferred for high performance. The extended SRN/I process is a two-mask process, but all structural parts and combs are defined in one mask level. Thus, there is no misalignment in any structural parts or comb fingers. In this extended SBM process, all vertical dimensions of the structure, including the comb height, vertical comb offset and sacrificial gap, can be defined arbitrarily (up to a few tens of micrometers). For electrical isolation, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers are used, but the inherent footing phenomenon in the SOI deep etching is eliminated and smooth structural shapes are obtained, because the SBM process is used. In the fabricated x-axis microgyroscope, the lower combs used to vibrate the proof mass are vertically offset 12 μm from the upper combs. The fabricated x-axis microgyroscope can resolve 0.1 deg/s angular rate, and the measured bandwidth is 100 Hz. The reported work represents the first x-axis single-crystalline silicon microgyroscope fabricated using only one wafer without wafer bonding. We have previously reported several versions of z-axis microgyroscopes and x-, y-, and z-axis accelerometers, using the SBM process. The results or this paper allow integrating x-, y-, and z-axis microgyroscopes as well as x-, y-, and z-axis microaccelerometers in one wafer, using the same mask and the same process.

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 3 )