Comparison of Ni- and SiGe-based MEMS magnetometers
External magnetic field
Magnetic field sensors
Sinusoidal Lorentz force
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The goal of this research is to design and fabricate a very sensitive MEMS-based magnetic field sensor for space applications. The challenge is to reach the required sensitivity: measuring magnetic fields from a few nT to about 60000nT with sub-nano Tesla accuracy. The device studied in this paper is based on a classical resonating Xylophone Bar Magnetometer (XBM). It consists of a free-free beam supported in the nodal points of the fundamental transverse mode of vibration. A sinusoidal current at the vibration frequency is supplied via the nodal supports. In the presence of an external magnetic field, this current results in a sinusoidal Lorentz force that puts the XBM in vibration at its fundamental frequency. Two different materials are proposed to fabricate this device: the first one is Poly-SiGe and the second is Nickel. The paper will present multi-physics simulations to evaluate the response of the SiGe-XBM and the Ni-XBM. Following these studies, devices with several support lengths and shapes were designed and fabricated in poly-SiGe and Nickel. Increasing the quality factor by a dedicated design of the support and using the intrinsic properties of the material, the new magnetometer will have improved accuracy and resolution and will meet the requirements for space applications.
CitationRochus, V.; Jansen, R.; Rottenberg, X.; Tilmans, H.A.C.; Ranvier, S.; Lamy, H.; Rochus, P. (2012). Comparison of Ni- and SiGe-based MEMS magnetometers. , 2012 13th International Thermal, Mechanical and Multi-Physics Simulation and Experiments in Microelectronics and Microsystems, EuroSimE 2012, 6191703, DOI: 10.1109/ESimE.2012.6191703.