Development of a MEMs force sensor
Loadstar Sensors, US
MEMS, force sensor, load sensor, load cell, pressure sensor
There is a critical need for miniature load/force sensors for a multitude of applications ranging from semiconductor processing to medical devices to material characterization. There is nothing presently available commercially that meets diverse needs. The current state of the art in the industry is based on bonded-foil strain gauges or piezo resistive materials which change resistance when a force is applied. The change in resistance and the resulting voltage signals are of the order of micro volts to millivolts - leading to lack of sensitivity at very low force ranges and are susceptible to noise and other effects. We have developed several techniques - some at the macro scale using capacitive sensing technology and some at the micro scale using a MEMS pieze resistive approach to help develop tiny sensors that can be in the mm size domain. Further we have developed Plug and Sense(TM) technology that encapsulates the sensing, processing and communication modules inside an integrated sensor package to enable a compact self-contained sensor that is software addressable! Our innovative award winning force/load sensor design is being embraced by students, researchers and inventors and is enabling a whole new class of applications that were not feasible earlier.
Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract