Near-zero stiffness accelerometer with buckling of tunable electrothermal microbeams

Pre-shaped microbeams, curved or inclined, are widely used in MEMS for their interesting stiffness properties. These mechanisms allow a wide range of positive and negative stiffness tuning in their direction of motion. A mechanism of pre-shaped beams with opposite curvature, connected in a parallel configuration, can be electrothermally tuned to reach a near-zero or negative stiffness behavior at the as-fabricated position. The simple structure helps incorporate the tunable spring mechanism in different designs for accelerometers, even with different transduction technologies. The sensitivity of the accelerometer can be considerably increased or tuned for different applications by electrothermally changing the stiffness of the spring mechanism. Opposite inclined beams are implemented in a capacitive micromachined accelerometer. The measurements on fabricated prototypes showed more than 55 times gain in sensitivity compared to their initial sensitivity. The experiments showed promising results in enhancing the resolution of acceleration sensing and the potential to reach unprecedent performance in micromachined accelerometers.

Hussein, H., Wang, C., Esteves, R. A., Kraft, M., & Fariborzi, H. (2023). Near-zero stiffness accelerometer with buckling of tunable electrothermal microbeams.

This research is supported by KAUST and KU Leuven.

Research Square Platform LLC


Additional Links

Permanent link to this record

Version History

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
2023-10-01 07:13:59
* Selected version