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Recessed Microstructures with Perfect Convex Corners for Accelerometers

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In the present work, we report the design and fabrication of recessed microstructures with perfect convex corners for accelerometers. The microstructures are fabricated inside the anisotropically etched cavity on (100)-Si wafer using bulk micromachining technology. Because of the recessed nature, the microstruc- tures can be easily secured and encapsulated by bonding a flat substrate of any material. This also provides the well-defined separation between the seismic mass and the cover wafer for capacitive sens- ing. The technique is developed using well established IC processes. The seismic mass (or proof mass) with perfect convex corners has been realized without using corner compensation structures. A two-step anisotropic etching technique and LOCOS process have been used for this purpose. The LOCOS pro- cess has been carried out using RF sputtered silicon nitride film. The supporting arms of the seismic mass are realized by P + diffusion process. The thickness of the supporting arms is controlled by boron pre-deposition and drive-in cycles. The design methodology for calculating the seismic mass dimensions in recessed microstructure technology is presented. For comparison, the seismic mass is also realized by conventional method, incorporating the corner compensation structures in the mask layout.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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