Microsystems & Nanoengineering Article: A polymeric piezoelectric MEMS accelerometer with high sensitivity, low noise density, and an innovative manufacturing approach


The piezoelectric coupling principle is widely used (along with capacitive coupling and piezoresistive coupling) for MEMS accelerometers. Piezoelectric MEMS accelerometers are used primarily for vibration monitoring. Polymer piezoelectric MEMS accelerometers offer the merits of heavy-metal-free structure material and simple microfabrication flow. More importantly, polymeric piezoelectric MEMS accelerometers may be the basis of novel applications, such as fully organic inertial sensing microsystems using polymer sensors and organic integrated circuits. This paper presents a novel polymer piezoelectric MEMS accelerometer design using PVDF films. A simple and rapid microfabrication flow based on laser micromachining of thin films and 3D stereolithography was developed to fabricate three samples of this design. During proof-of-concept experiments, the design achieved a sensitivity of 21.82 pC/g (equivalent opencircuit voltage sensitivity: 126.32 mV/g), a 5% flat band of 58.5 Hz, and a noise density of 6.02 μg/√Hz. Thus, this design rivals state-of-the-art PZT-based counterparts in charge sensitivity and noise density, and it surpasses the performance capabilities of several commercial MEMS accelerometers. Moreover, this design has a 10-times smaller device area and a 4-times larger flat band than previous state-of-the-art organic piezoelectric MEMS accelerometers. These experimentally validated performance metrics demonstrate the promising application potential of the polymeric piezoelectric MEMS accelerometer design presented in this article.

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