Design, fabrication, and measurement of high-sensitivity piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems accelerometers

Li Peng Wang, Richard A. Wolf, Yu Wang, Ken K. Deng, Lichun Zou, Robert J. Davis, Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers based on piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thick films with trampoline or annular diaphragm structures were designed, fabricated by bulk micromachining, and tested. The designs provide good sensitivity along one axis, with low transverse sensitivity and good temperature stability. The thick PZT films (1.5-7 μm) were deposited from an acetylacetonate modified sol-gel solution, using multiple spin coating, pyrolysis, and crystallization steps. The resulting films show good dielectric and piezoelectric properties, with Pr values > 20 μC/cm2, εr > 800, tan δ < 3%, and |e31,f| values > 6.5 C/m2. The proof mass fabrication, as well as the accelerometer beam definition step, was accomplished via deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) of the Si substrate. Measured sensitivities range from 0.77 to 7.6 pC/g for resonant frequencies ranging from 35.3 to 3.7 kHz. These accelerometers are being incorporated into packages including application specific integration circuit (ASIC) electronics and an RF telemetry system to facilitate wireless monitoring of industrial equipment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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