Capacitive Sensor Patents (Class 73/514.32)
  • Publication number: 20140230550
    Abstract: The invention relates to a microelectro-mechanical structure (MEMS), and more particularly, to systems, devices and methods of compensating effect of thermo-mechanical stress on a micro-machined accelerometer by incorporating and adjusting elastic elements to couple corresponding sensing electrodes. The sensing electrodes comprise moveable electrodes and stationary electrodes that are respectively coupled on a proof mass and a substrate. At least one elastic element is incorporated into a coupling structure that couples two stationary electrodes or couples a stationary electrode to at least one anchor. More than one elastic element may be incorporated. The number, locations, configurations and geometries of the elastic elements are adjusted to compensate an output offset and a sensitivity drift that are induced by the thermo-mechanical stress accumulated in the MEMS device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2013
    Publication date: August 21, 2014
    Applicant: MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS, INC.
    Inventor: Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20140230551
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor circuit 1 of the invention includes an acceleration sensor 11 having a first capacitor C1 whose capacitance changes according to a position of a first movable electrode and a second capacitor C2 whose capacitance changes as opposed to the first capacitor according to a position of a second movable electrode moved together with the first movable electrode, a first circuit 15A for generating a sinusoidal AC signal of a predetermined frequency, a second circuit 12 for generating a signal according to the positions of the movable electrodes, and an arithmetic circuit 14 for analyzing data in which a signal generated by the second circuit 12 is encoded and outputting data of acceleration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Publication date: August 21, 2014
    Applicants: AKEBONO BRAKE INDUSTRY CO., LTD., JAPAN OIL, GAS AND METALS NATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takashi Kunimi, Toru Sekine
  • Patent number: 8806940
    Abstract: A micromechanical component for detecting an acceleration. The component includes a conductive layer having a first and a second electrode and a rotatable flywheel mass in the form of a rocker having a first and a second lever arm. The first lever arm is situated opposite the first electrode, and the second lever arm is situated opposite the second electrode. The first lever arm has a first hole structure having a number of first cut-outs, and the second lever arm has a second hole structure having a number of second cut-outs. The first and the second lever arm have different masses. The component is characterized by the fact that the outer dimensions of the first and second lever arms correspond, and the first hole structure of the first lever arm differs from the second hole structure of the second lever arm. Furthermore, a method for manufacturing such a micromechanical component is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Johannes Classen
  • Patent number: 8800371
    Abstract: An electrostatic force generator is disclosed. The electrostatic force generator includes an RF AC voltage source, a capacitive module, a resonant capacitive-inductive bridge (CIB) module, a lock-in amplifier module, and a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. The resonant capacitive-inductive bridge module converts the differential capacitance to a differential signal. The differential signal from the resonant capacitive-inductive bridge module is demodulated at the RF excitation frequency by the lock-in amplifier module. The PID controller receives the output signal from the lock-in amplifier module and generates two audio frequency AC signals to generate a compensation electrostatic force and maintain the capacitance balance inside the capacitive module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Sheng Jui Chen, Hsiao Hsi Pan
  • Publication number: 20140216156
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor includes a first and second anchors above a substrate, a first weight portion supported by the first anchor, a first electrode extended from the first weight portion, a second electrode supported by the second anchor, and a first beam connecting the first weight portion with the first anchor. The first weight portion includes a first left portion and a first right portion with different weights. The first beam includes a first connection beam connecting the first left portion with the first anchor, and a first support beam connecting the first connection beam with the first anchor. When acceleration is applied to the acceleration sensor, the first left portion and the first right portion are movable in opposite directions in a seesaw manner, in which the first anchor-provides a support point.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Publication date: August 7, 2014
    Applicant: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Minekazu Sakai
  • Publication number: 20140208849
    Abstract: A balanced teeter-totter accelerometer has a mass suspended above a substrate, the mass having an axis of rotation that is parallel to the substrate and substantially geometrically centered with respect to the shape of the mass. A physical acceleration in a direction perpendicular to the substrate causes the mass to rotate about the axis of rotation. The rotation is sensed by measuring a change in capacitance of electrodes on the substrate. The accelerometer may be calibrated using the same sensing electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2013
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: ANALOG DEVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Jianglong Zhang
  • Patent number: 8783108
    Abstract: A micromechanical system for detecting an acceleration includes a substrate, a rocker-like mass structure having a first lever arm and a diametrically opposed second lever arm, the lever arms being situated tiltably at a distance to the substrate and about an axis of rotation to the substrate, and first and second electrodes being provided on the substrate. Each electrode is diametrically opposed to a lever arm and each lever arm includes a section extending from the axis of rotation which is located between the electrodes above an intermediate space. The two sections have different masses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Johannes Classen
  • Publication number: 20140196542
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes an element piece including a movable weight and movable electrode portions which are provided to extend from the movable weight; fixed electrode portions which are provided in a first direction in which the element piece is displaced, with a gap d1 interposed therebetween; and fixed portions which are provided to face an end portion of the element piece, in which a recess is provided on the end portion of the movable weight in a position facing the fixed portions, a first stopper portion which extends towards the movable weight is provided on the fixed portion, and a tip end of the first stopper portion is inserted into the recess, and a gap d2 between the tip end and the movable weight is narrower than the gap d1.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2014
    Publication date: July 17, 2014
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Atsuki NARUSE
  • Patent number: 8776601
    Abstract: A MEMS sensor comprises a substrate and at least one proof mass having a first plurality of combs, wherein the proof mass is coupled to the substrate via one or more suspension beams such that the proof mass and the first plurality of combs are movable. The MEMS sensor also comprises at least one fixed anchor having a second plurality of combs. The first plurality of combs is interleaved with the second plurality of combs. Each of the combs in the first plurality of combs and the second plurality of combs comprises a plurality of conductive layers electrically isolated from each other by one or more non-conductive layers. Each conductive layer is individually coupled to a respective electric potential such that fringing electric fields are screened to reduce motion of the first plurality of combs along a sense axis due to the fringing electric fields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Robert D. Horning, Ryan Supino
  • Publication number: 20140174182
    Abstract: According to a displacement amount monitoring electrode arrangement, there are a linear change region in which the change amount of capacitance changes linearly with the displacement of the movable electrode in the predetermined axis direction, and a nonlinear change region in which the change amount of the capacitance changes nonlinearly with the displacement of the movable electrode in the predetermined axis direction. The nonlinear change region includes a characteristic in which a change sensitivity of the change amount of the capacitance with respect to the displacement amount of the movable electrode in the predetermined axis direction is greater than that in the linear change region, and a target capacitance change amount of the capacitance when the displacement of the movable electrode in the predetermined axis direction reaches a target displacement amount corresponding to the target amplitude is set in the nonlinear change region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Inventor: Katsutoshi Narita
  • Patent number: 8756996
    Abstract: In a micromechanical system having a substrate and an electrode situated over the substrate, the electrode is connected to the substrate via a vertical spring. The vertical spring is sectionally provided in a first conductive layer and sectionally provided in a second conductive layer, the second conductive layer being situated over the first conductive layer and the first conductive layer being situated over the substrate. The electrode is provided in a third conductive layer, which is situated over the second conductive layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Jochen Reinmuth
  • Patent number: 8752430
    Abstract: A micromechanical acceleration sensor, including at least one substrate, one or more frames, at least a first frame of which is suspended directly or indirectly on the substrate by at least one spring element, and is deflected with respect to the substrate when at least a first acceleration acts, and at least a first seismic mass which is suspended on the first frame or an additional frame by at least one spring element, and is deflected with respect to this frame when an acceleration acts which is, in particular, different from the first acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG
    Inventors: Roland Burghardt, Roland Hilser, Bernhard Schmid, Veith Albrecht, Dirk Theobald
  • Patent number: 8752431
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor includes a housing, a first seismic mass which is formed as a first asymmetrical rocker and is disposed in the housing via at least one first spring, a second seismic mass which is formed as a second asymmetrical rocker and is disposed in the housing via at least one second spring, and a sensor and evaluation unit which is designed to ascertain information regarding corresponding rotational movements of the first seismic mass and the second seismic mass in relation to the housing and to determine acceleration information with respect to an acceleration of the acceleration sensor, taking the ascertained information into account. In addition, a method for operating an acceleration sensor is disclosed. The rockers execute opposite rotational movements in response to the presence of an acceleration. A differential evaluation of the signals makes it possible to free the measuring signal of any existing interference signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Jochen Reinmuth, Harald Emmerich
  • Patent number: 8746064
    Abstract: The invention relates to a micromechanical sensor having at least two spring-mass damper oscillators. The micromechanical sensor has a first spring-mass-damper oscillating system with a first resonant frequency and a second spring-mass-damper oscillating system with a second resonant frequency which is lower than the first resonant frequency. The invention also relates to a method for detection and/or measurement of oscillations by means of a sensor such as this, and to a method for production of a micromechanical sensor such as this. The first and the second spring-mass-damper oscillating systems have electrodes which oscillate in a measurement direction about electrode rest positions with electrode deflections which are equal to or proportional to deflections of the spring-mass-damper oscillators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Fibercheck GmbH
    Inventors: Marco Dienel, Alexander Sorger, Jan Mehner
  • Patent number: 8746066
    Abstract: A micromechanical acceleration sensor is described which includes a substrate and a seismic mass which is movably situated with respect to the substrate in a detection direction. The micromechanical sensor includes at least one damping device for damping motions of the seismic mass perpendicular to the detection direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Johannes Classen, Sebastian Guenther, Harald Steffes
  • Patent number: 8749250
    Abstract: A micromechanical component is described having a substrate which has a movable mass which is connected via at least one spring to the substrate so that the movable mass is displaceable with respect to the substrate, and at least one fixedly mounted stator electrode. The movable mass and the at least one spring are structured from the substrate. At least one separating trench which at least partially surrounds the movable mass is formed in the substrate. The at least one stator electrode is situated adjacent to an outer surface of the movable mass which is at least partially surrounded by the separating trench, with the aid of at least one supporting connection which connects the at least one stator electrode to an anchor situated on the substrate and spans a section of the separating trench. Also described is a manufacturing method for a micromechanical component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Jochen Reinmuth, Gary O'Brien
  • Publication number: 20140144235
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor achieving improvement of sensitivity and comprehensive miniaturization as a device includes a first sensor. The first sensor is furnished with an electrostatic capacitor that is configured such that a first fixed electrode, a second fixed electrode and a movable electrode are intensively arranged in a row. In the electrostatic capacitor, the first fixed electrode, the second fixed electrode and the movable electrode are arranged adjoining one another in acceleration detection direction (y-axis direction) at a position corresponding to the center of a weight in a plane view of a substrate. At one of longitudinal-side's ends of each electrode (one of ends in x-axis direction), connectors are provided so as to connect the first fixed electrode and the second fixed electrode to the substrate by connectors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2013
    Publication date: May 29, 2014
    Applicant: Yamaha Corporation
    Inventor: Toshihisa Suzuki
  • Publication number: 20140144234
    Abstract: The invention provides a micro-electro-mechanical device which is manufactured by a CMOS manufacturing process. The micro-electro-mechanical device includes a stationary unit, a movable unit, and a connecting member. The stationary unit includes a first capacitive sensing region and a fixed structure region. The movable unit includes a second capacitive sensing region and a proof mass, wherein the first capacitive sensing region and the second capacitive sensing region form a capacitor, and the proof mass region consists of a single material. The connecting member is for connecting the movable unit in a way to allow a relative movement of the movable unit with respect to the stationary unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2013
    Publication date: May 29, 2014
    Applicant: PIXART IMAGING INCORPORATION
    Inventors: Ming-Han Tsai, Yu-Chia Liu, Wei-Leun Fang
  • Patent number: 8736254
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes a first rocking body and a second rocking body. Each of the rocking bodies is supported on a substrate by a first supporting portion and a second supporting portion. The first rocking body is partitioned into a first region and a second region by a first axis (supporting axis) when viewed in plane, and the second rocking body is partitioned into a third region and a fourth region by a second axis (supporting axis) when viewed in plane. The mass of the second region is larger than the mass of the first region, and the mass of the third region is larger than the mass of the fourth region. An arranged direction of the first region and the second region is the same as an arranged direction of the third region and the fourth region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Kei Kanemoto
  • Patent number: 8710597
    Abstract: A method and structure for adding mass with stress isolation to MEMS. The structure has a thickness of silicon material coupled to at least one flexible element. The thickness of silicon material can be configured to move in one or more spatial directions about the flexible element(s) according to a specific embodiment. The apparatus also includes a plurality of recessed regions formed in respective spatial regions of the thickness of silicon material. Additionally, the apparatus includes a glue material within each of the recessed regions and a plug material formed overlying each of the recessed regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: mCube Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel N. Koury, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8701490
    Abstract: A Z-axis capacitive accelerometer includes a substrate, a capacitance sensing plate, a proof mass and at least one pair of spring beams. The capacitance sensing plate includes two symmetrical sense areas to create differential capacitive measurement. A decoupling structure separates the proof mass and the capacitance sensing plate and their rotational motions from each other. In the proposed Z axis capacitive accelerometer, the distance of the capacitance sensing plate relative to its rotation axis is considerably increased, thereby effectively enhancing the sensitivity when measuring the Z-axis acceleration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: MEMSIC, Inc.
    Inventors: Leyue Jiang, Hanqin Zhou, Yang Zhao
  • Patent number: 8695427
    Abstract: A micromechanical component is described including a substrate having a spacer layer and a test structure for ascertaining the thickness of the spacer layer. The test structure includes a seismic mass, which is elastically deflectable along a measuring axis parallel to the substrate, a first electrode system and a second electrode system for deflecting the seismic mass along the measuring axis, having a mass electrode, which is produced by a part of the seismic mass, and a substrate electrode, which is situated on the substrate in each case, the first electrode system being designed to be thicker than the second electrode system by the layer thickness of the spacer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Jochen Reinmuth, Ralf Boessendoerfer, Axel Franke, Mirko Hattass
  • Patent number: 8689633
    Abstract: A micromechanical system includes a first movable element, which is connected to a substrate via a first spring element, and a second movable element, which is connected to the substrate via a second spring element. The first movable element and the second movable element are movable in relation to the substrate independent of one another. Furthermore, the first movable element and the second movable element are situated one above the other in at least some sections in a direction perpendicular to the substrate surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Johannes Classen
  • Patent number: 8683864
    Abstract: In order to provide a technology capable of suppressing degradation of measurement accuracy due to fluctuation of detection sensitivity of an MEMS by suppressing fluctuation in natural frequency of the MEMS caused by a stress, first, fixed portions 3a to 3d are displaced outward in a y-direction of a semiconductor substrate 2 by deformation of the semiconductor substrate 2. Since a movable body 5 is disposed in a state of floating above the semiconductor substrate 2, it is not affected and displaced by the deformation of the semiconductor substrate 2. Therefore, a tensile stress (+?1) occurs in the beam 4a and a compressive stress (??2) occurs in the beam 4b. At this time, in terms of a spring system made by combining the beam 4a and the beam 4b, increase in spring constant due to the tensile stress acting on the beam 4a and decrease in spring constant due to the compressive stress acting on the beam 4b are offset against each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Munenori Degawa, Heewon Jeong
  • Patent number: 8683862
    Abstract: An oscillation apparatus comprising: a frame; a first proof mass coupled to the frame via a spring; a driving circuit operatively coupled to the first proof mass and the frame, wherein the driving circuit is configured to induce oscillatory motion of the first proof mass relative to the frame at a resonant frequency in a first direction; a first electron-tunneling position switch operatively coupled to the first proof mass such that the first position switch is configured to pass through a closed state during each oscillation of the proof mass, wherein the position switch comprises first and second single-atom-thick tunneling electrodes; and a sensing circuit coupled to the position switch, the sensing circuit configured to output a signal whenever the position switch passes through the closed state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Andrew Wang, Paul D. Swanson, Richard L. Waters, Maxwell Mayekawa Kerber
  • Patent number: 8671757
    Abstract: A micromechanical component which has a substrate, a seismic mass, which is deflectably situated on the substrate, and a stop structure for limiting a deflection of the seismic mass in a direction away from the substrate. The stop structure is situated on the substrate and has a limiting section for limiting the deflection of the seismic mass, which is in a plane with the seismic mass. Furthermore, a method for manufacturing a micromechanical component is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Jochen Reinmuth
  • Publication number: 20140069190
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes: a substrate; a first movable body that is provided on the substrate and includes first movable electrode sections; first fixed electrode sections disposed on the substrate so as to face the first movable electrode sections; a second movable body that is provided on the substrate and includes second movable electrode sections; and second fixed electrode sections disposed on the substrate so as to face the second movable electrode sections. A post section protruding from the principal surface of the substrate is provided in a portion of the substrate located between the first and second movable bodies in plan view.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Seiko Epson Corporation
  • Patent number: 8661901
    Abstract: Various systems and methods for sensing are provided. In one embodiment, a sensing system is provided that includes a first electrode array disposed on a proof mass, and a second electrode array disposed on a planar surface of a support structure. The proof mass is attached to the support structure via a compliant coupling such that the first electrode array is positioned substantially parallel to and faces the second electrode array and the proof mass is capable of displacement relative to the support structure. The first electrode array includes a plurality of first patterns of electrodes and the second electrode array includes a plurality of second patterns of electrodes. The sensing system further includes circuitry configured to provide an input voltage to each of the second patterns of electrodes to produce an electrical null position for the first electrode array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventor: Robert G. Walmsley
  • Patent number: 8656778
    Abstract: A system for determining in-plane acceleration of an object. The system includes an in-plane accelerometer with a substrate rigidly attached to an object, and a proof mass—formed from a single piece of material—movably positioned a predetermined distance above the substrate. The proof mass includes a plurality of electrode protrusions extending downward from the proof mass to form a gap of varying height between the proof mass and the substrate. The proof mass is configured to move in a direction parallel to the upper surfaces of each of the plurality of substrate electrodes when the object is accelerating, which results in a change in the area of the gap, and a change in capacitance between the substrate and the proof mass. The in-plane accelerometer can be fabricated using the same techniques used to fabricate an out-of-plane accelerometer and is suitable for high-shock applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Rosemount Aerospace Inc.
    Inventors: Shuwen Guo, Alexander Spivak, Anita Fink
  • Publication number: 20140041452
    Abstract: Certain disclosed accelerometer sensors and methods employ a proof mass that is acted upon by multiple feedback paths. One illustrative sensor embodiment includes an electrode arrangement proximate to a proof mass, the electrode arrangement providing multiple electrostatic force centroids on the proof mass. The sensor embodiment further includes multiple feedback paths, each feedback path independently controlling an electrostatic force for a respective centroid, and an output unit that converts signals from the multiple feedback paths into an acceleration-responsive output signal. An illustrative method embodiment derives multiple feedback signals from at least one displacement signal, applies the multiple feedback signals to an arrangement of electrodes that capacitively couple the proof mass to a substrate, and converts the multiple feedback signals into an acceleration signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2012
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Applicant: PGS Geophysical AS
    Inventors: Knut David WESTBERG, Mats Lennart CARLSSON, Erik Andreas DREYFERT, Milena ANGUELOVA
  • Patent number: 8640543
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) device, comprising: a mass including a main body and two capacitor plates located at the two sides of the main body and connected with the main body, the two capacitor plates being at different elevation levels; an upper electrode located above one of the two capacitor plates, forming one capacitor therewith; and a lower electrode located below the other of the two capacitor plates, forming another capacitor therewith, wherein the upper and lower electrodes are misaligned with each other in a horizontal direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Pixart Imaging Incorporation
    Inventors: Sheng Ta Lee, Chuan Wei Wang
  • Patent number: 8645020
    Abstract: A system for performing diagnostic checks on a data message transmitted from a sensor and received by a receiver includes a receiver clock tick counter, a prescaler counter, a calibration pulse detector, a nibble counter, and a calculator. The system receives first and second data messages transmitted from the sensor. Pulse widths of first and second calibration pulses of the first and second data messages, respectively, and lengths of the first and second data messages are measured using the receiver clock tick, prescaler, and nibble counters based on a compensated receiver clock signal. Thereafter, the pulse widths of the first and second calibration pulses and the lengths of the first and second data messages are compared using the calculator to perform the diagnostic checks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Rohit Tomar, Prashant Bhargava, Neha Jain, Matthew B. Ruff
  • Patent number: 8629682
    Abstract: A detector circuit for detecting the presence of a remote capacitive sensor having at least two terminals connected via a protection circuit that includes one or more capacitors, the detector circuit comprising: a current supply for changing the charge on the sensor and the protection circuit, a detector for measuring the voltage on one or more of the terminals; wherein the presence of the sensor is determined by changing the charge on the capacitive sensor and the one or more capacitors of the protection circuit in a predetermined manner such that the voltage measurement on the one or more terminals when the sensor is present is significantly different than when the sensor is absent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Mike Garrard, Ray Marshall, Stefano Pietri
  • Patent number: 8627719
    Abstract: A micromechanical sensor element includes: a substrate; a first seismic mass suspended from the substrate, which is deflectable from a first rest position by an acceleration acting perpendicularly to a main plane of extension; and a second seismic mass, which is deflectable from a second rest position by the acceleration. At least a partial overlap is provided between the first seismic mass and the second seismic mass perpendicular to the main plane of extension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Offenberg, Michael Baus
  • Patent number: 8627720
    Abstract: A semiconductor device includes a semiconductor substrate and a semiconductor mass element configured to move in response to an applied acceleration. The mass element is defined by trenches etched into the semiconductor substrate and a cavity below the mass element. The semiconductor device includes a sensing element configured to sense movement of the mass element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventors: Thoralf Kautzsch, Bernhard Winkler, Dirk Meinhold, Ben Rosam, Bernd Foeste, Andreas Thamm, Boris Binder
  • Publication number: 20140007685
    Abstract: A movable part rotates about a rotation axis, which passes through a support, when an inertial force in a detecting direction is applied to an inertial sensor. The movable part includes a first region and a second region displaced in a direction opposite to a direction of the first region when the inertial force is applied. A second substrate includes first and second detection electrodes opposed to the first and second regions, respectively. The first detection electrode and the second detection electrode are provided symmetrically with respect to the rotation axis. A cavity is provided symmetrically with respect to the rotation axis. In a direction perpendicular to the detecting direction and a direction in which the rotation axis extends, a length from the rotation axis to an end of the first region and a length from the rotation axis to an end of the second region are different.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2013
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Inventors: Yuhua ZHANG, Heewon JEONG, Kiyoko YAMANAKA, Masahide HAYASHI
  • Patent number: 8621928
    Abstract: A sensor includes an acceleration detector, an angular velocity detector, a driver, and first to fourth springs. Each detector includes a pair of fixed electrodes, a pair of movable electrodes, and a pair of supporting members for supporting the movable electrodes. The driver causes the supporting members to vibrate in opposite phases in a first direction. The first spring couples the supporting members of the acceleration detector and has elasticity in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction. The second spring couples the supporting members of the acceleration detector to a base and has elasticity in both directions. The third spring couples the supporting members of the acceleration detector to the supporting members of the angular velocity detector and has elasticity in both directions. The fourth spring couples the supporting members to the movable electrodes of the angular velocity detector and has elasticity in the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Keisuke Gotoh
  • Patent number: 8621929
    Abstract: A micromechanical component comprising a displaceable mass made of a substrate material having at least one actuator plate electrode and one first insulating layer between the displaceable mass and the at least one actuator plate electrode, a mounting having a frame, which at least partially encloses the displaceable mass, at least one contact terminal of the at least one actuator plate electrode, and at least one stator plate electrode, and at least one spring component, via which the displaceable mass is connected to the mounting, one of the actuator plate electrodes being connected to the assigned contact terminal in each case via the assigned spring component, wherein the frame of the mounting is made of the substrate material of the displaceable mass and wherein one of the actuator plate electrodes is configured in one piece with the assigned contact terminal and the assigned spring component in each case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan Weiss, Arnim Hoechst
  • Publication number: 20130340526
    Abstract: A MEMS inertial sensor, may include a movable sensitive element; and second substrate and a third substrate. The movable sensitive element may be formed by using a first substrate which may be formed of a monocrystalline semiconductor material. The first substrate may include a first surface and a second surface which are opposite to each other. One or more conductive layers may be formed on the first surface of the first substrate The second substrate may be coupled to a surface of the one or more conductive layer on the first substrate. The third substrate may be coupled to the second surface of the first substrate. The third substrate and the second substrate are respectively arranged on two opposite sides of the movable sensitive element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 23, 2012
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: MEMSEN ELECTRONICS INC
    Inventor: Lianjun Liu
  • Publication number: 20130333471
    Abstract: In a teeter-totter type MEMS accelerometer, the teeter-totter proof mass and the bottom set of electrodes (i.e., underlying the proof mass) are formed on a device wafer, while the top set of electrodes (i.e., overlying the teeter-totter proof mass) are formed on a circuit wafer that is bonded to the device wafer such that the top set of electrodes overlie the teeter-totter proof mass. The electrodes formed on the circuit wafer may be formed from an upper metallization layer on the circuit wafer, which also may be used to form various electrical connections and/or bond pads.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2012
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Applicant: ANALOG DEVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Yu-Tsun Chien
  • Patent number: 8607632
    Abstract: A micromechanical sensor having at least one movably mounted measuring element which is opposite at least one stationary electrode, the electrode being situated in a first plane, and being contacted by at least one printed conductor track which is situated in a second plane. A third plane is located between the first plane and the second plane, the third plane including an electrically conductive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Daniel Christoph Meisel, Joerg Hauer
  • Publication number: 20130327147
    Abstract: A micromechanical device measures an acceleration, a pressure or the like. It comprises a substrate having at least one fixed electrode, a seismic mass moveably arranged on the substrate, at least one ground electrode, which is arranged on the seismic mass, and resetting means for returning the seismic mass into an initial position, wherein the fixed electrode and the ground electrode are configured in one measurement plane for measuring an acceleration, a pressure or the like in the measurement plane, and wherein the fixed electrode and the ground electrode are configured for measuring an acceleration, pressure or the like acting on the seismic mass perpendicular to the measurement plane. The disclosure likewise relates to a corresponding method and a corresponding use.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2011
    Publication date: December 12, 2013
    Applicant: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Ando Feyh, Christina Leinenbach, Axel Franke, Gary O'Brien
  • Patent number: 8604574
    Abstract: The transparent photodetector includes a substrate; a waveguide on the substrate; a displaceable structure that can be displaced with respect to the substrate, the displaceable structure in proximity to the waveguide; and a silicon nanowire array suspended with respect to the substrate and mechanically linked to the displaceable structure, the silicon nanowire array comprising a plurality of silicon nanowires having piezoresistance. In operation, a light source propagating through the waveguide results in an optical force on the displaceable structure which further results in a strain on the nanowires to cause a change in electrical resistance of the nanowires. The substrate may be a semiconductor on insulator substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Tymon Barwicz
  • Publication number: 20130319117
    Abstract: A MEMS sensor (20, 86) includes a support structure (26) suspended above a surface (28) of a substrate (24) and connected to the substrate (24) via spring elements (30, 32, 34). A proof mass (36) is suspended above the substrate (24) and is connected to the support structure (26) via torsional elements (38). Electrodes (42, 44), spaced apart from the proof mass (36), are connected to the support structure (26) and are suspended above the substrate (24). Suspension of the electrodes (42, 44) and proof mass (36) above the surface (28) of the substrate (24) via the support structure (26) substantially physically isolates the elements from deformation of the underlying substrate (24). Additionally, connection via the spring elements (30, 32, 34) result in the MEMS sensor (22, 86) being less susceptible to movement of the support structure (26) due to this deformation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2012
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR, INC.
    Inventors: Andrew C. McNeil, Gary G. Li, Lisa Z. Zhang, Yizhen Lin
  • Publication number: 20130319118
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, and systems are disclosed for forming a transducer. The transducer may include a bottom plate formed from a first sheet of material, a top plate formed from a second sheet of material, and a middle portion. The middle portion includes a mid-upper element formed from a third sheet of material, the mid-upper element having a mid-upper frame, a mid-upper mass, and a plurality of mid-upper attachment members coupling the mid-upper mass to the mid-upper frame. The middle portion also may include a central element formed from a fourth sheet of material, the central element having a central frame and a central mass.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Applicant: ION Geophysical Corporation
    Inventor: Ken Kan Deng
  • Patent number: 8596123
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device (20) includes a substrate (24) and a movable element (22) adapted for motion relative to the substrate (24). A secondary structure (58) extends from the movable element (22). The secondary structure (58) includes a secondary mass (70) and a spring (68) interconnected between the movable element (22) and the mass (70). The spring (68) is sufficiently stiff to prevent movement of the mass (70) when the movable element (22) is subjected to force within a sensing range of the device (20). However, the spring (68) deflects when the device (20) is subjected to mechanical shock (86), and the spring (68) rebounds thus causing the mass (70) to impact the movable element (22) in a direction that would be likely to dislodge a potentially stuck movable element (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter S. Schultz
  • Patent number: 8596122
    Abstract: A micromechanical component comprising a substrate, a seismic mass, and first and second detection means, the substrate having a main extension plane and the first detection means being provided for detection of a substantially translational first deflection of the seismic mass along a first direction substantially parallel to the main extension plane, and the second detection means further being provided for detection of a substantially rotational second deflection of the seismic mass about a first rotation axis parallel to a second direction substantially perpendicular to the main extension plane. The seismic mass can be embodied as an asymmetrical rocker, with the result that accelerations can be sensed as rotations. Detection can be accomplished via capacitive sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Johannes Classen, Lars Tebje
  • Patent number: 8590376
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an inertial sensor, preferably an acceleration sensor or multi-axis acceleration sensor as a microelectromechanical construction element, said sensor comprising a housing with at least one first gas-filled cavity in which a first detection unit is disposed moveably relative to the housing for detection of an acceleration to be detected, wherein the inertial sensor comprises a damping structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignees: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung e.V., Maxim Integrated GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Reinert, Martin Heller
  • Patent number: 8590377
    Abstract: In exemplary embodiments of this invention, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) includes a cantilevered proof mass and electrostatic drive. The electrostatic drive puts the proof mass into a controlled trajectory in which it oscillates rapidly, for example, by vibrating back and forth in a plane or traveling in a circular or elliptical orbit. The IMU detects lateral or angular acceleration of the IMU, by measuring the perturbations of the proof mass trajectory from the expected motion in a fixed, non-rotating inertial frame. In exemplary embodiments of this invention, the proof mass position and motion are measured by methods of differential potential measurement (with constant slope voltage), differential displacement current measurement, or phase-sensitive or synchronous detection of motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Ernest Post, Neil Gershenfeld
  • Patent number: 8578774
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes a sensing portion, a casing, a vibration isolating member, an electrically conductive portion, a pad and a bonding wire. The casing encases the sensing portion therein. The vibration isolating member is disposed between the sensing portion and the casing to reduce a relative vibration between the sensing portion and the casing. The bonding wire electrically connects the electrically conductive portion provided on the casing and the pad provided on a surface of the sensing portion. The bonding wire extends from the pad to the electrically conductive portion and includes a bend. The bonding wire is configured to satisfy a relation of 20×d?h, in which d is an outer diameter of the bonding wire, and h is a dimension of the bonding wire with respect to a direction perpendicular to the surface of the sensing portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tameharu Ohta, Takeshi Shinoda, Itaru Ishii, Keisuke Nakano