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A single-crystalline-silicon micro-gyroscope is fabricated in a single wafer using the recently developed surface/bulk micromachining (SBM) process. The SBM technology combined with deep silicon reactive ion etching allows fabricating accurately defined single-crystalline-silicon high-aspect-ratio structures with large sacrificial gaps, in a single wafer. The structural thickness of the fabricated micro-gyroscope is 40 /spl mu/m, and the sacrificial gap is 50 /spl mu/m. For electrostatic actuation and capacitive sensing of the developed gyroscope, a new isolation method which uses sandwiched oxide, polysilicon, and metal films, is developed in this paper. This triple-layer isolation method utilizes the excellent step coverage of low-pressure chemical vapor deposition polysilicon films, and thus, this new isolation method is well suited for high-aspect-ratio structures. The thickness of the additional films allows controlling and fine tuning the stiffness properties of underetched beams, as well as the capacitance between electrodes. The noise-equivalent angular-rate resolution of the SBM-fabricated gyroscope is 0.01/spl deg//s, and the bandwidth is 16.2 Hz. The output is linear to within 8% for a /spl plusmn/20/spl deg//s range. Work is currently underway to improve these performance specifications.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2000