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01.06.2015 | Technical Paper | Ausgabe 6/2015

Microsystem Technologies 6/2015

Structural optimization of Z-axis tuning-fork MEMS gyroscopes for enhancing reliability and resolution

Zeitschrift:
Microsystem Technologies > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Lihong Zhang, Vlastimil Masek, Nikoo Naeemi Sanatdoost

Abstract

Inertial sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers are normally considered as the most important sensors in a navigation system. Especially in the underwater or under-ice applications, the accuracy of the entire navigation system has to mainly rely on the precision of the inertial sensors due to inapplicability of global positioning systems. For MEMS-based inertial sensors, fabrication variation and environmental disturbance are among the major error sources. To address these challenges, in this paper we propose an optimization methodology by using parametric analysis on a reference design for improving sensor reliability and resolution. Apart from studying the resolution improvement by deploying an alternative sensing scheme, the effects of changing location, shape, and size of critical cantilevers have been thoroughly explored. By using this method, we have derived an improved mechanical structure for tuning-fork gyroscopes. Our numerical analyses show that the bandwidth of the proposed structure, which is the most important stability measure in the vibratory gyroscopes with slightly mismatched resonant frequencies, is over 1.7 times more immune to fabrication imperfection than the other structural alternatives. The drive and sense resonant amplitude robustness against fabrication imperfection is also improved in the proposed structure. In addition, this structure is able to provide at least 2.3 times larger sense-mode capacitance response to external rotation compared to the previously published designs. More important, it is observed that there is always non-negligible room for improving performance of gyroscopes if our proposed structural optimization methodology is integrated into the conventional MEMS-based inertial sensor design flow.

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