Capacitive Sensor Patents (Class 73/514.32)
  • Patent number: 8578776
    Abstract: An acceleration and angular velocity detection device includes a first oscillation element and a second oscillation element that are movable in a direction along a first axis and a direction along a second axis, an oscillating portion oscillating the first and second oscillation elements in opposite directions along the first axis, a first detection capacitance element and a second detection capacitance element whose capacitances change in a complementary way in accordance with a displacement of the first oscillation element, a third detection capacitance element and a fourth detection capacitance element whose capacitances change in a complementary way in accordance with a displacement of the second oscillation element, a charge amplifier having a fully differential structure, and a detecting portion detecting an acceleration and an angular velocity of a rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kenji Hirano
  • Patent number: 8573058
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor includes: a support member; a fixed electrode provided on the support member; a movable unit; a movable electrode provided on the movable unit and disposed opposed to the fixed electrode to generate capacity; and a projection extending from the opposed surface of at least either the fixed electrode or the movable electrode in one direction within the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Masahiro Oshio
  • Patent number: 8573059
    Abstract: A capacitive micromechanical acceleration sensor has a substrate and a micromechanical functional layer situated above the substrate. A seismic mass, a suspension and fixed electrodes are situated in the micromechanical functional layer. The fixed electrodes are electrically connected to one another on a first and second side, respectively, of the suspension using buried conductor tracks. The fixed electrodes are connected to one another between the first and second side of the suspension using first and second conductors in the micromechanical functional layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Arnd Kaelberer, Lars Tebje, Christian Bierhoff
  • Publication number: 20130283913
    Abstract: Embodiments of compact micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices are provided, as are embodiments of methods for fabricating MEMS devices. In one embodiment, the MEMS device includes a substrate, a movable structure resiliently coupled to the substrate, and an anchored structure fixedly coupled to the substrate. The movable structure includes a first plurality of movable fingers, and a second plurality of movable fingers electrically isolated from and interspersed with the first plurality of movable fingers. The anchored structure includes fixed fingers interspersed with first and second pluralities of movable fingers in a capacitor-forming relationship. First and second interconnects are electrically coupled to the first and second pluralities of movable fingers, respectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2012
    Publication date: October 31, 2013
    Applicant: FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR, INC.
    Inventors: Yizhen Lin, Sung Jin Jo, Lisa Z. Zhang
  • Patent number: 8567248
    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 moveable 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 accelereation 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: May 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Keisuke Gotoh
  • Patent number: 8563344
    Abstract: A method for producing microelectromechanical structures in a substrate includes: arranging at least one metal-plated layer on a main surface of the substrate in a structure pattern; leaving substrate webs open beneath a structure pattern region by introducing first trenches into the substrate perpendicular to a surface normal of the main surface in a region surrounding the structure pattern; coating the walls of the first trenches perpendicular to the surface normal of the main surface with a passivation layer; and introducing cavity structures into the substrate at the base of the first trenches in a region beneath the structure pattern region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Jochen Reinmuth, Heiko Stahl
  • Publication number: 20130269434
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes: a first substrate including a first fixed electrode portion disposed on a first base surface and a first through-hole penetrating the front and rear of the substrate; a second substrate including a second fixed electrode portion disposed on a second base surface and a second through-hole penetrating the front and rear of the substrate, the second base surface being arranged to face the first base surface; and a movable body arranged between the first substrate and the second substrate with gaps and including a movable electrode portion facing the first fixed electrode portion and the second fixed electrode portion. In the first through-hole, a first through-electrode electrically connected with the first fixed electrode portion is disposed. In the second through-hole, a second through-electrode electrically connected with the second fixed electrode portion is disposed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2013
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Shinichi KAMISUKI
  • Patent number: 8555720
    Abstract: A MEMS device (20) includes a substrate (24) and a movable element (22) adapted for motion relative to the substrate (24). A secondary structure (46) extends from the movable element (22). The secondary structure (46) includes a secondary mass (54) and a spring (56) interconnected between the movable element (22) and the mass (54). The spring (56) is sufficiently stiff to prevent movement of the mass (54) when the movable element (22) is subjected to force within a sensing range of the device (20). When the device (20) is subjected to mechanical shock (66), the spring (56) deflects so that the mass (54) moves counter to the motion of the movable element (22). Movement of the mass (54) causes the movable element (22) to vibrate to mitigate stiction between the movable element (22) and other structures of the device (20) and/or to prevent breakage of components within the device (22).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter S. Schultz
  • Patent number: 8555719
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor (40) includes a substrate (46) and a suspension anchor (54) formed on a planar surface (48) of the substrate (46). A first folded torsion spring (58) and a second folded torsion spring (60) interconnect the movable element (56) with the suspension anchor (54) to suspend the movable element (56) above the substrate (46). The folded torsion springs (58, 60) are each formed from multiple segments (76) that are linked together by bar elements (78) in a serpentine fashion. The folded torsion springs (58, 60) have an equivalent shape and are oriented relative to one another in rotational symmetry about a centroid (84) of the suspension anchor (54).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew C. McNeil, Gary G. Li
  • Patent number: 8549922
    Abstract: An apparatus for detecting mechanical displacement in a micro-electromechanical system includes a capacitor having first and second plates spaced from one another, the first and second plates having different work functions and being electrically connected with each other. The capacitor plates are movable with respect to one another such that a spacing between the plates changes in response to a force. A current through the capacitor represents a rate of change in the spacing between the plates at a given time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Alexander Kalnitsky, Fu-Lung Hsueh
  • Patent number: 8549921
    Abstract: Exemplary embodiments relate to a sensor for detecting an acceleration acting on the sensor, having: a substrate, a mass unit, which acts as an inert mass in the event of the presence of an acceleration, a fixing structure, wherein the mass unit is articulated on the substrate in such a way that at least one pivot axis is defined, about which the mass unit can perform a rotation relative to the substrate as a result of an acceleration acting on the sensor, and the mass unit has an interial center of gravity, which is at a distance from the respective pivot axis, and at least one detection unit, with which a change in position between the mass unit and the substrate may be detected. The detection unit is arranged with respect to the mass unit in such a way that a deformation of the mass unit cannot be transferred to the detection unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignees: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foererung der Angewandten Forschung E.V., Maxim Integrated GmbH
    Inventors: Oliver Schwarzelbach, Manfred Weiss, Volker Kempe
  • Publication number: 20130255382
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes: a fixed portion; a fixed electrode portion; and a movable body that includes a support portion disposed around the fixed portion in plan view, a movable electrode portion supported by the support portion, extending along a first axis, and arranged to face the fixed electrode portion, and a coupling portion coupling the fixed portion with the support portion, and is displaceable along a second axis crossing the first axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2013
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Applicant: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Satoru TANAKA
  • Patent number: 8544326
    Abstract: Provided is a vertical accelerometer for measuring acceleration applied perpendicular to a substrate to increase sensitivity thereof. The vertical accelerometer includes a substrate, and a plurality of unit vertical accelerometers, each having a detection mass disposed on the substrate to be rotated by acceleration applied perpendicular to the substrate, and a detection electrode formed at the detection mass. Here, the unit vertical accelerometers are provided to be in contact with the detection electrodes to detect the acceleration through variation in capacitance due to variation in area in which the contacted detection electrodes overlaps each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
    Inventor: Chang Han Je
  • Patent number: 8544325
    Abstract: A broadband weak-motion inertial sensor includes a frame, a movable inertial mass, a forcing transducer for keeping the inertial mass stationary relative to the frame during operation, and a flexure for suspending the movable mass in the frame. Two or more closely spaced, substantially parallel capacitor plates, at least one attached to the frame, and one attached to the movable inertial mass, form a capacitive displacement transducer. The capacitor plates have a plurality of apertures with dimensions and arrangement chosen to simultaneously minimize damping induced thermal noise and give a high spatial efficiency. In an implementation, three capacitor plates are provided. The capacitor plates each have a same hexagonal pattern of circular holes; the holes are aligned on all included capacitor plates. Radius and spacing of the holes are dictated by a relationship that determines the minimum damping per unit capacitively effective area for a desired spatial efficiency, gap height and capacitor plate thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Nanometrics Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas Jason Ackerley, Timothy Philip Setterfield, Mark Jonathan Brice Hayman
  • Publication number: 20130247667
    Abstract: An accelerometer comprises a support, a first mass element and a second mass element, the mass elements being rigidly interconnected to form a unitary movable proof mass, the support being located at least in part between the first and second mass elements, a plurality of mounting legs securing the mass elements to the support member, at least two groups of movable capacitor fingers provided on the first mass element and interdigitated with corresponding groups of fixed capacitor fingers associated with the support, and at least two groups of movable capacitor fmgers provided on the second mass element and interdigitated with corresponding groups of fixed capacitor fingers associated with the support.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: Atlantic Inertial Systems Limited
    Inventor: Alan Malvern
  • Patent number: 8539836
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor (20) includes a substrate (26) and suspension anchors (34, 36) formed on a planar surface (28) of the substrate (26). The MEMS sensor (20) further includes a first movable element (38) and a second movable element (40) suspended above the substrate (26). Compliant members (42, 44) interconnect the first movable element (38) with the suspension anchor 34 and compliant members (46, 48) interconnect the second movable element (40) with the suspension anchor (36). The movable elements (38, 40) have an equivalent shape. The movable elements may be generally rectangular movable elements (38, 40) or L-shaped movable elements (108, 110) in a nested configuration. The movable elements (38, 40) are oriented relative to one another in rotational symmetry about a point location (94) on the substrate (26).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew C. McNeil
  • Publication number: 20130239686
    Abstract: A MEMS detection structure is provided with: a substrate having a top surface, on which a first fixed-electrode arrangement is set; a sensing mass, extending in a plane and suspended above the substrate and above the first fixed-electrode arrangement at a separation distance; and connection elastic elements that support the sensing mass so that it is free to rotate out of the plane about an axis of rotation, modifying the separation distance, as a function of a quantity to be detected along an axis orthogonal to the plane. The MEMS detection structure also includes: a coupling mass, suspended above the substrate and connected to the sensing mass via the connection elastic elements; and an anchoring arrangement, which anchors the coupling mass to the substrate with a first point of constraint, set at a distance from the axis of rotation and in a position corresponding to the first fixed-electrode arrangement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2013
    Publication date: September 19, 2013
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics S.r.I.
    Inventors: Gabriele Cazzaniga, Luca Coronato, Barbara Simoni
  • Patent number: 8534127
    Abstract: An angular velocity sensor including a drive extension mode. In one aspect, an angular rate sensor includes a base and at least three masses disposed substantially in a plane parallel to the base, the masses having a center of mass. At least one actuator drives the masses in an extension mode, such that in the extension mode the masses move in the plane simultaneously away or simultaneously towards the center of mass. At least one transducer senses at least one Coriolis force resulting from motion of the masses and angular velocity about at least one input axis of the sensor. Additional embodiments can include a linkage that constrains the masses to move in the extension mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2013
    Assignee: Invensense, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Seeger, Bruno Borovic
  • Publication number: 20130233078
    Abstract: An electret accelerometer is provided in which a diaphragm, an electret, a back plate and an electronic circuit are placed in a sealed casing to prevent external acoustic signals from reaching the diaphragm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2013
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventor: Michael J. Sinclair
  • Publication number: 20130220016
    Abstract: A microelectromechanical sensor that in one embodiment includes a supporting structure, having a substrate and electrode structures anchored to the substrate; and a sensing mass, movable with respect to the supporting structure so that a distance between the sensing mass and the substrate is variable. The sensing mass is provided with movable electrodes capacitively coupled to the electrode structures. Each electrode structure comprises a first fixed electrode and a second fixed electrode mutually insulated by a dielectric region and arranged in succession in a direction substantially perpendicular to a face of the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Applicant: STMICROELECTRONICS S.R.L.
    Inventor: STMicroelectronics S.r.l.
  • Patent number: 8516890
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor having a substrate, at least one web, and a seismic mass, the web and the seismic mass being situated over a plane of the substrate. The seismic mass is situated on at least two sides of the web and elastically suspended on the web. The web is anchored on the substrate with the aid of at least one anchor. At least one anchor is situated outside the center of gravity of the seismic mass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Dirk Rehle
  • Patent number: 8516891
    Abstract: A MEMS sensing system includes a movable mass having at least one contact surface, a stopper system for stopping the movement of the mass, the stopper system having at least one contact surface that contacts a corresponding contact surface of the mass if a sufficient movement of the mass occurs in a direction, at least one stopper gap formed between the at least one contact surface of the stopper system and the corresponding contact surface of the mass, and a spring system in communication with the at least one stopper gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Analog Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Xin Zhang, Michael W. Judy
  • Patent number: 8505381
    Abstract: A capacitive acceleration sensor includes an acceleration sensor moving part and an acceleration sensor stationary part together forming a capacitor for detecting acceleration, a sealing structure hermetically enclosing but not contacting the acceleration sensor moving part, and at least one support pillar enclosed by but not directly contacted by the acceleration sensor moving part, both ends of the at least one support pillar being in contact with inside walls of the sealing structure. The acceleration sensor moving part is electrically connected to the at least one support pillar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Yasuo Yamaguchi, Makio Horikawa
  • Patent number: 8505380
    Abstract: An out-of-plane comb-drive accelerometer. An example accelerometer linearizes a response. An example accelerometer includes one or more stators having a plurality of tines having a surface parallel to a surface of substrate. The tine surface is at a first distance from the surface of the substrate. A proof mass includes one or more rotors that include a plurality of rotor tines attached to an edge of the proof mass. The rotor tines are interleaved with corresponding ones of the stator tines. The rotor tines include a surface parallel to a surface of the substrate. The rotor tine surface is at a second distance from the surface of the substrate. The first distance and second distance are unequal by a threshold amount. Motion of the rotor relative to the stator in an out-of-plane direction provides a linear change in a capacitive value measured across the rotor and the stator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Foster
  • Patent number: 8499630
    Abstract: A MEMS piezoelectric sensor comprises a plurality of capacitors some of which may be used for sensing and others used for feedback. The capacitors may be switched to connect or disconnect selected capacitors from the sensor. Embodiments convert a two port sensor into a four port sensor without significant changes in hardware design and improve SNR and correct for offset and out-of-axis errors due to process mismatch and variations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Friedel Gerfers, Li-Peng Wang
  • Publication number: 20130192371
    Abstract: A MEMS-sensor structure comprising first means and second means coupled for double differential detection and positioned symmetrically to provide quantities for the double differential detection in a phase shift. If the sensor deforms, due to a specifically symmetric positioning of the first and second means, the effect of the displacement is at least partly eliminated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Publication date: August 1, 2013
    Applicant: MURATA ELECTRONICS OY
    Inventor: MURATA ELECTRONICS OY
  • Publication number: 20130186201
    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: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Inventors: Sheng-Ta Lee, Chuan Wei Wang
  • Publication number: 20130186171
    Abstract: A method for providing acceleration data with reduced substrate-displacement bias includes receiving in an accelerometer an external acceleration, determining the acceleration data with reduced substrate displacement bias in a compensation portion in response to a first and a second displacement indicators from a MEMS transducer, and, in response to substrate compensation factors from a MEMS compensation portion, outputting the acceleration data with reduced substrate displacement bias, wherein the first displacement indicator and the second displacement indicator are determined by the MEMS transducer relative to a substrate in response to the external acceleration and to a substrate displacement, and wherein the substrate compensation factors are determined by the MEMS compensation portion relative to the substrate in response to the substrate displacement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2013
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: mCube Inc.
    Inventor: mCube Inc.
  • Patent number: 8493080
    Abstract: A test system for testing a capacitive touch sensor is provided. The test system includes a resistor, a signal generator and a micro controller. A first end of the resistor is electrically connected to a sensing port of the capacitive touch sensor. The signal generator provides a test voltage to a second end of the resistor according to control information. In this way, the resistor generates a test current according to the test voltage, and the capacitive touch sensor provides a voltage difference to the sensing port according to a plurality of switching signals, and converts the test current into test information. The micro controller generates the control information according to a test table, and compares the test information according to the test table, so as to determine whether an operation of the capacitive touch sensor is normal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Himax Technologies Limited
    Inventor: Yaw-Guang Chang
  • Patent number: 8479576
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System, MEMS) device with a deformation protection structure. The MEMS device is located on a substrate, and it includes: a movable part; and a deformation protection structure, which has: a fixed plug, which is fixed on the substrate; multiple metal layers, including a top metal layer; and multiple plugs connecting the multiple metal layers. From top view, the top metal layer overlaps a portion of the movable part, and from cross section view, the bottom surface of the top metal layer is higher than the top surface of the movable part by a predetermined distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Pixart Imaging Incorporation
    Inventor: Chuan-Wei Wang
  • Patent number: 8468888
    Abstract: A MEMS sensor capable of sensing acceleration and pressure includes a frame, a proof mass and flexible bridges connected between the frame and the proof mass in such a way that the proof mass is moveably suspended inside the frame. The proof mass is provided with a pressure sensing diaphragm and a sealed chamber corresponding to the diaphragm such that the proof mass is not only served as a moveable sensing element for acceleration measurement but also a pressure sensing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignees: Domintech Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ming-Ching Wu, Chih-Kung Huang, Jeff Biar, Kazuhiro Okada
  • Publication number: 20130152686
    Abstract: A MEMS system has an input for receiving a plurality of frequency division multiplexed variable capacitance signals, and a readout node electrically coupled with the input. Each variable capacitance signal is produced by a variable capacitor and has data relating to movement of microstructure associated with that variable capacitor. Moreover, each variable capacitance signal is produced by a variable capacitor that is different from the variable capacitor producing any of the other variable capacitance signals. The system further has a mixer electrically coupled with the readout node, and an output electrically coupled with the mixer. The mixer is configured to substantially continuously receive the plural variable capacitance signals. In addition, the output has an output interface for delivering the plurality of variable capacitance signals in parallel. The signals at the output should represent real time signals, as compared to stale sample and hold signals used in prior art systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2011
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: ANALOG DEVICES, INC.
    Inventor: Srinivasan Venkatraman
  • Patent number: 8459115
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System, MEMS) accelerator with enhanced structural strength. The MEMS accelerator is located on a substrate, and it includes: multiple springs, wherein each spring includes: an anchor, fixed on the substrate; an extensible part, which has a fixed end fixed on the anchor, and a free end floating above the substrate; a proof mass, connected to the free ends of the springs; and multiple in-plane sense electrodes, wherein the extensible part is folded back and forth to form a substantially polygon shape as a whole, in which the fixed end is located within the middle one third length of one side of the substantially polygon shape, and the free end is located within the middle one third length of an opposite side of the substantially polygon shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Pixart Imaging Incorporation, R.O.C.
    Inventor: Chuan-Wei Wang
  • Patent number: 8459116
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes an anchor portion, a movable portion displaceable in a height direction, a supporting portion rotatably connected to the anchor portion and the movable portion, and a detection portion. The supporting portion includes a first connection arm connecting the anchor portion and the movable portion to each other and a leg portion extending from the anchor portion in a direction opposite to the first connection arm, the leg portion being displaced in a direction opposite to a displacement direction of the movable portion when the supporting portion rotates. A stopper surface is disposed at a position to which a distal end portion of the leg portion is contactable when the leg portion is displaced in the direction opposite to the displacement direction of the movable portion. Displacement of the movable portion is restricted when the distal end portion of the leg portion contacts the stopper surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akira Miyatake, Toru Takahashi, Hisanobu Ohkawa, Katsuya Kikuiri, Hisayuki Yazawa, Toshihiro Kobayashi, Yoshitaka Uto
  • Patent number: 8459114
    Abstract: A multi-axis capacitive accelerometer is disclosed. A first mass is disposed and held by an anchor supported by a substrate, wherein the first mass is asymmetrically suspended on the anchor by means of two cantilevers, so that the first mass rotates about a rotation axis, for sensing the acceleration in a first direction perpendicular to the substrate. A second mass is disposed in the first mass and suspended on the first mass by means of a set of springs to sense the acceleration in a second direction parallel to the substrate. Furthermore, a third mass can be disposed in the second mass, wherein the third mass is suspended on the second mass by means of another set of springs to sense the acceleration in a third direction. The first direction, the second direction and the third direction are mutually orthogonal to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Yu-Wen Hsu, Hsin-Tang Chien, Sheah Chen
  • Publication number: 20130139595
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a three-dimensional micro-electro-mechanical-system sensor. The sensor includes movable first electrodes, plural movable second electrodes, plural fixed third electrodes, and plural fixed fourth electrodes. The first electrodes and their adjacent third electrodes form at least one first capacitor and at least one second capacitor, and the second electrodes and their adjacent fourth electrodes form at least one third capacitor. The capacitance change of the first capacitor reflects the displacement of the proof mass along a first axis, the capacitance change of the second capacitor reflects the displacement of the proof mass along a second axis, and the capacitance change of the third capacitor reflects the displacement of the proof mass along a third axis. The first, second, and third axes define a three-dimensional coordinate system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2012
    Publication date: June 6, 2013
    Inventors: Ming-Han Tsai, Chih-Ming Sun
  • Patent number: 8453506
    Abstract: A spring mounting element is provided having an inner ring with an inner radial circumference and an outer radial circumference, and an outer ring having an inner radial circumference and an outer radial circumference. A plurality of supporting elements are attached to and symmetrically disposed around the outer radial circumference of the inner ring, and attached to the inner radial circumference of the outer ring. The plurality of supporting elements allow the inner ring to move in three dimensions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Dan Tho Lu
  • Patent number: 8443671
    Abstract: A micromechanical structure includes: a substrate; a seismic mass movable relative to the substrate along a first direction parallel to a main plane of extension of the substrate; a first electrode structure is connected to the substrate; and a second electrode structure connected to the substrate. The seismic mass includes a counterelectrode structure having finger electrodes situated between first finger electrodes of the first electrode structure and second finger electrodes of the second electrode structure, along the first direction. The first electrode structure is fastened to the substrate by a first anchoring element in a central region of the micromechanical structure, and the second electrode structure is anchored to the substrate by a second anchoring element situated in the central region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Johannes Classen, Christian Bierhoff
  • Patent number: 8443670
    Abstract: Disclosed is a novel three-axis capacitive-type accelerometer implemented on SOI wafer. The accelerometer consists of four springs, one proof mass, four pairs of gap-closing sensing electrodes (each pair of gap-closing sensing electrode containing one movable electrode and one stationary electrode), and several metal-vias as the electrical interconnections. The movable electrodes are on the proof mass, whereas the stationary electrodes are fixed to the substrate. The three-axis accelerometer has five merits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: National Tsing Hua University
    Inventors: Chia-Pao Hsu, Weileun Fang, Ming-Ching Wu
  • Patent number: 8441268
    Abstract: A system for detecting fluid on a substrate is provided. The system includes, but is not limited to, a sensor board, a first capacitive sensor, and a platform upon which the substrate is to be placed. The first capacitive sensor is mounted on the sensor board. The first capacitive sensor has a transmit sensor pad for transmitting a signal, a receive sensor pad for receiving the signal, and an analog-to-digital convertor connected with the receive sensor pad for analyzing the received signal. The platform is a first distance from the transmit and receive sensor pads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: Lam Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Norton, Charley Abboud
  • Patent number: 8436434
    Abstract: A micromechanical component includes: a substrate having a multitude of trench structures which separate a first and a second mass element of the substrate from a web element of the substrate, in such a way that the first and second mass elements enclose the web element along an extension direction of the main surface of the substrate and are disposed to allow movement relative to the substrate in the direction of a surface normal of the main surface; a first electrode layer applied on the main surface of the substrate and forms a first electrode on the web element between the first and second mass elements; and a second electrode layer applied on the first and second mass elements and forming a self-supporting second electrode above the first electrode in the area of the web element, the first and second electrode forming a capacitance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Jochen Reinmuth
  • Patent number: 8434364
    Abstract: A MEMS detection structure is provided with: a substrate having a top surface, on which a first fixed-electrode arrangement is set; a sensing mass, extending in a plane and suspended above the substrate and above the first fixed-electrode arrangement at a separation distance; and connection elastic elements that support the sensing mass so that it is free to rotate out of the plane about an axis of rotation, modifying the separation distance, as a function of a quantity to be detected along an axis orthogonal to the plane. The MEMS detection structure also includes: a coupling mass, suspended above the substrate and connected to the sensing mass via the connection elastic elements; and an anchoring arrangement, which anchors the coupling mass to the substrate with a first point of constraint, set at a distance from the axis of rotation and in a position corresponding to the first fixed-electrode arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2013
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics S.r.l.
    Inventors: Gabriele Cazzaniga, Luca Coronato, Barbara Simoni
  • Publication number: 20130104656
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device including a mass anchored to a substrate. The MEMS device is configured to generate an output signal indicative of motion of the mass with respect to the substrate. The MEMS device includes a feedback module configured to provide a control signal to the MEMS device. The control signal is based on the output signal. The MEMS device is configured to apply a damping force to the mass in response to the control signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2011
    Publication date: May 2, 2013
    Inventor: Eric B. Smith
  • Patent number: 8429971
    Abstract: A micromechanical acceleration sensor includes a substrate, an elastic diaphragm which extends parallel to the substrate plane and which is partially connected to the substrate, and which has a surface region which may be deflected perpendicular to the substrate plane, and a seismic mass whose center of gravity is situated outside the plane of the elastic diaphragm. The seismic mass extends at a distance over substrate regions which are situated outside the region of the elastic diaphragm and which include a system composed of multiple electrodes, each of which together with oppositely situated regions of the seismic mass forms a capacitor in a circuit. In its central region the seismic mass is attached to the elastic diaphragm in the surface region of the elastic diaphragm which may be deflected perpendicular to the substrate plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Johannes Classen, Axel Franke, Dietrich Schubert, Kersten Kehr, Ralf Reichenbach
  • Patent number: 8424383
    Abstract: A 3-dimensional MEMS sensor, comprising: a first axis fixed electrode; a second axis fixed electrode; a third axis fixed electrode; a movable electrode frame including a first axis movable electrode, a second axis movable electrode, a third axis movable electrode, and a connection part connecting the movable electrodes, wherein the first axis movable electrode and the first axis fixed electrode form a first capacitor along the first axis, the second axis movable electrode and the second axis fixed electrode form a second capacitor along the second axis, and the third axis movable electrode and the third axis fixed electrode form a third capacitor along the third axis, the connection part including a center mass, wherein the center mass is at least connected with one of the first, second and third axis movable electrodes, and has an outer periphery and a first interconnecting segment connecting at least two adjacent sides of the outer periphery; at least one spring connecting with the movable electrode frame;
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Pixart Imaging Incorporation
    Inventors: Chuan-Wei Wang, Sheng-Ta Lee
  • Patent number: 8418556
    Abstract: A micro electrical-mechanical system (MEMS) is disclosed. The MEMS includes a substrate, a first pivot extending upwardly from the substrate, a first lever arm with a first longitudinal axis extending above the substrate and pivotably mounted to the first pivot for pivoting about a first pivot axis, a first capacitor layer formed on the substrate at a location beneath a first capacitor portion of the first lever arm, a second capacitor layer formed on the substrate at a location beneath a second capacitor portion of the first lever arm, wherein the first pivot supports the first lever arm at a location between the first capacitor portion and the second capacitor portion along the first longitudinal axis, and a first conductor member extending across the first longitudinal axis and spaced apart from the first pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Po-Jui Chen, Martin Eckardt, Axel Franke
  • Patent number: 8418557
    Abstract: A physical quantity sensor includes a support substrate, anchor portions fixed to a top surface of the support substrate, a movable portion positioned above the support substrate and supported by the anchor portions with support portions provided therebetween such that the movable portion is movable in a height direction, and detection portions for detecting a displacement of the movable portion. The support portions include beam portions provided between the movable portion and the anchor portions such that spring portions are provided between the beam portions and each of the movable portion and the anchor portions, the beam portions having a rigidity higher than a rigidity of the spring portions. The movable portion translates in the height direction owing to twisting of the spring portions and displacements in the height direction of distal ends of the beam portions, the movable portion being supported at the distal end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hisayuki Yazawa, Kiyoshi Sato, Katsuya Kikuiri, Toru Takahashi, Hisanobu Ohkawa
  • Patent number: 8418555
    Abstract: A bi-directional, out-of-plane electrostatic comb drive apparatus including two electrically independent sets of stator comb tines; and a method for fabricating an out-of-plane comb drive with stacked sets of stator comb tines. A first set of stator comb tines is offset from a second set of stator comb tines. A set of rotor comb tines interleaves with both sets of stator comb tines. A first voltage applied to the first set of stator comb tines operates to pull the rotor tines toward the first set of stator comb tines. A second voltage applied to the second set of stator comb tines operates to pull the rotor tines toward the second set of stator comb tines, enabling bi-directional operation. A fabrication method is disclosed that enables fabrication of the first and second sets of stator comb tines that are mechanically and electrically independent and interleaved by the rotor comb tines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Foster, Shifang Zhou
  • Patent number: 8413510
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor includes first and second opposed electrode units. The first opposed electrode unit includes a first electrode and a second electrode spaced away from and facing the first electrode, and provides a first capacitance. The second opposed electrode unit includes a third electrode and a fourth electrode spaced away from and facing the third electrode, and provides a second capacitance. The first and third electrodes are arranged along a first direction. A component of acceleration along the first direction applied to the object is detected based on the first and second capacitances. A control voltage is applied to the first and second opposed electrode units. The control voltage is changed when both of the first capacitance and the second capacitance simultaneously increase or decrease. This acceleration sensor detects the acceleration accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Uemura, Toshiyuki Nozoe
  • Patent number: 8413511
    Abstract: A accelerometer includes a substrate define a stationary electrode thereon, a first moveable mass defining a conductive-layer thereon facing the stationary electrode, a plurality of first elastic elements coupled with a peripheral side of the first moveable mass, a first fixed element surrounding the first moveable mass and fixedly attached to the substrate, a plurality of first fixed electrodes extending outwardly from the first fixed element, a second moveable mass surrounding the first fixed electrodes, a plurality of first moveable electrodes extending inwardly from the second moveable mass toward the first fixed element and parallel to the first fixed electrodes, respectively, a plurality of second elastic elements coupled with a peripheral side of the second moveable mass, and a second fixed element surrounding the second moveable mass and fixedly attached to the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignees: AAC Acoustic Technologies (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., American Audio Components Inc.
    Inventors: Zhou Ge, Bin Yang, Zheng-Kui Meng, Yi-Lin Yan, Rui Zhang