2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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Clean Technology 2008

Experimental Evaluation of a Novel Piezoresistive MEMS Strain Sensor for Wireless Structural Health Monitoring Applications

A.A.S. Mohammed, W.A. Moussa, E. Lou
University of Alberta, CA

piezoresistive, MEMS, strain sensor, structural health monitoring, wireless applications

Piezoresistive sensing is considered as one of the most important sensing phenomena in Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices. In this paper a new piezoresistive strain sensor is presented. This sensor has high performance characteristics such as sensitivity, resolution and signal to noise ratio. The design process of this sensor was performed using Finite Element (FE) method. The fabricated samples have been characterized over a wide temperature range that covers from -50oC to +50oC. The experimental results showed high sensor linearity, low hysteresis and good signal stability over this temperature range. These results reflects the high potential of this sensor to be utilized in Structural Health Monitoring applications. Moreover, this sensor consumes very low current (100 A) compared to the thin-foil strain gauges (10mA), introduces this sensor as an efficient sensor for wireless applications. Different signal magnification levels are utilized in this sensor design including geometry, material properties and piezoresistors’ configuration. In the characterization process of this sensor, an efficient characterization procedure is used, which showed high efficiency in piezoresistive properties evaluation.

Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract