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Fabrication and testing of a high resolution extensometer based on resonant MEMS strain sensors

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9 Author(s)
Ferri, M. ; Inst. of Microelectron. & Microsyst., CNR, Bologna, Italy ; Belsito, L. ; Mancarella, F. ; Masini, L.
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A novel type of linear extensometer with exceptionally high resolution of 4 nm based on MEMS resonant strain sensors bonded on steel and operating in a vacuum package is presented. The tool is implemented by means of a steel thin bar that can be pre-stressed in tension within two fixing anchors. The extension of the bar is detected by using two vacuum-packaged resonant MEMS double-ended tuning fork (DETF) sensors bonded on the bar with epoxy glue, one of which is utilized for temperature compensation. Both sensors are driven by a closed loop self-oscillating transresistance amplifier feedback scheme implemented on a PCB (Printed Circuit Board). On the same board, a microcontroller-based frequency measurement circuit is also implemented, which is able to count the square wave fronts of the MEMS oscillator output with a resolution of 20 nsec. The system provides a frequency noise of 0.2 Hz corresponding to an extension resolution of 4 nm for the extensometer. Nearly perfect temperature compensation of the frequency output is achieved in the temperature range 20-35°C using the reference sensor.

Published in:

Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference (TRANSDUCERS), 2011 16th International

Date of Conference:

5-9 June 2011