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Critical study of high-sensitivity pressure sensors with silicon/porous silicon composite membranes

[+] Author Affiliations
L. Sujatha

Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering, Chennai 602105, India

Vishwas S. Kale

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India

Enakshi Bhattacharya

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Electrical Engineering, Microelectronics & MEMS Laboratory, Chennai 600036, India

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 8(3), 033070 (September 03, 2009). doi:10.1117/1.3213252
History: Received March 13, 2009; Revised June 23, 2009; Accepted July 16, 2009; Published September 03, 2009
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Since porous silicon (PS) has a much lower Young's modulus than single crystalline silicon, Si/PS composite membranes deflect more and can be used to fabricate pressure sensors with improved sensitivity. However, PS has some drawbacks, like weaker structural stability and being more susceptible to humidity due to its large surface-to-volume ratio. We discuss the fabrication and testing of Si/PS composite membrane pressure sensors with MicroPS and MacroPS of varying porosity. For the same porosity, the composite membranes with Si/MicroPS show higher sensitivity than Si/MacroPS. The sensor output is linear and repeatable at pressures less than 1bar. The deformation of composite membranes measured up to 10bar showed that it saturates at high pressure and is irreversible. Composite membranes also exhibit higher offset voltage than single crystal silicon membranes, which could be attributed to the stress developed in the membrane during PS formation and subsequent processing. The composite membrane pressure sensors were packaged on TO 39 headers, and the effect of humidity and temperature variation were investigated.

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© 2009 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

L. Sujatha ; Vishwas S. Kale and Enakshi Bhattacharya
"Critical study of high-sensitivity pressure sensors with silicon/porous silicon composite membranes", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 8(3), 033070 (September 03, 2009). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3213252


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