Case Number 101008 - Novel MEMS Pressure Sensor Fabricated on an Optical Fiber
Contact: Doug Nienaber
Description: MEMS (microelectromechanical structures) technology involves micro-engineered components capable of carrying out a variety of functions previously limited to larger and more expensive components. This technology is now used for many purposes including a variety of physical, chemical, and biological measurements capable of being carried out with minimal space, energy, and production cost.
A new MEMS device has been developed which is capable of both the measurement of pressure and the transmission of such measurement via optical fiber. The device consists of a detector and optical fiber combined in such a way that the total device diameter is no larger than the optical fiber itself.
The novel MEMS technology may be inexpensively fabricated and used in harsh environments where electronic equivalents cannot operate (such as high temperature, vibration, dust, and electromagnetic interference).
The small and precise size of the sensing elements offers considerable flexibility in choosing pressure response ranges, bandwidth, and sensitivity.
Compared to prior MEMS pressure sensor application, the present invention eliminates the need for adhesives in device packaging and allows the device to operate at approximately the same temperature as the optical fiber.
Due to the small terminal diameter, the device may be combined in arrays to provide pressure maps with high spatial resolution.
Issued US Patent #6,925,213 entitled "Micromachined Fiber Optic Sensors"