FEM study of a 3-axis thermal accelerometer based on free convection in a microcavity

H.B. Nguyen, F. Mailly, L. Latorre, P. Nouet
University Montpellier 2 / CNRS - LIRMM, FR

Keywords: FEM, thermal simulation, accelerometer

Summary:

Thermal convective accelerometers are based on heat transfer in a sealed cavity filled with a fluid. The principle was patented in the 40’s and the first implementations on silicon, obtained with bulk micromachining, were reported in 1997-98. Since that time, many single and 2-axis sensors were reported in the literature but not 3-axis device based on a standard technology. Therefore, the goal of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of a simple third sensitive axis and provide the MEMS designer with a compact model and the main parameters that govern the sensitivity.