Monolithic Integration of Pressure Plus Acceleration Composite TPMS Sensors With a Single-Sided Micromachining Technology


This paper concerns the development of a single-side micromachined tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor for automobiles, which is with a piezoresistive pressure sensor and a cantilever–mass piezoresistive accelerometer monolithically integrated in a 1.6 mm $times$ 1.5 mm sized (111)-silicon chip. Single-wafer-based front-side silicon micromachining and metal electroplating technologies are employed to fabricate the device. Specially designed releasing trenches along $langle 111rangle$ orientation are constructed to form the hexagonal pressure-sensitive diaphragm and the postsealed vacuum reference cavity. The fabrication of the accelerometer is also based on a hexagonal diaphragm that is latterly cut into suspended cantilevers and seismic mass. To achieve a high sensitivity, a high-density copper thick film is selectively electroplated to significantly increase the mass. The performance of the 115-g-ranged accelerometer is measured, exhibiting a sensitivity of 99.9 $muhbox{V/g}$ (under 3.3-V supply), nonlinearity of $pm$0.45% FS, and the noise floor of better than 0.2 g. The 750-kPa-ranged pressure-sensor sensitivity is measured as 0.108 mV/kPa (under 3.3-V supply), with the nonlinearity error smaller than $pm 0.1% hbox{FS}$ and the temperature coefficient of sensitivity as $-0.19%/^{circ}hbox{C} hbox{FS}$ before compensation. The noise floor of the pressure-sensor output signal is 0.15 kPa. The zero-point temperature coefficient is tested as $-0.11%/^{circ}hbox{C} hbox{FS}$ and $-0.024%/^{circ}hbox{C} hbox{FS}$ for the accelerometer and the pressure sensor, respectively. Fabricated with the low-cost front-side micromachining technique, the small-sized TPMS sensors are promising in practical applications and volume production. $hfill$[2011-0192]

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