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Design and Demonstration of an In-Plane Silicon-on-Insulator Optical MEMS Fabry–Pérot-Based Accelerometer Integrated With Channel Waveguides

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3 Author(s)
Zandi, K. ; Dept. of Eng. Phys., Ecole Polytech. de Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada ; Belanger, J.A. ; Peter, Y.-A.

In this paper, we present a novel optical microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometer sensor dedicated to space applications. An in-plane Fabry-Pérot (FP) microcavity (FPM) with two distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs) is used to detect the acceleration. One of the DBR mirrors is attached to two suspended proof masses, allowing the FP gap to change while proof masses experience acceleration. Acceleration is then detected by measuring the spectral shift of the FPM. The optical accelerometer presented here uses silicon strip waveguides integrated with MEMS on a single silicon-on-insulator wafer, making it compact and robust. All of the device components are fabricated using one single fabrication step. Immunity to electromagnetic interference, high sensitivity and resolution capability, integrability, reliability, low cross-sensitivity, simple fabrication, and possibility of having two- and three-axis sensitivities are numerous advantages of our sensor compared to the conventional ones. The sensor performance demonstrated a 90-nm/g sensitivity and 111-μg resolution and better than 250-mg dynamic range.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 6 )