Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Single Polysilicon Nano-Wire Piezoresistors for MEMS Pressure Sensor

S. Maflin Shaby, A. Vimala Juliet


A polysilicon nano-wire piezoresistor pressure sensor was fabricated by means of RIE (reactive ion etching). This paper focuses the structural design and optimization of the MEMS Nano-wire piezoresistive pressure sensor to enhance the sensitivity. The polysilicon nanowire pressure sensor has 100x100nm2 cross section area and has a thickness about 10nm. The diaphragm in this work is made thinner than that of the conventional bulk silicon piezoresistive pressure sensors. The single polysilicon nano-wire piezoresistive pressure sensor was compared with the conventional bulk piezoresistive pressure sensor. Finite element method (FEM) is adopted to optimize the sensor parameters, such as the resistor location. The silicon nanowire under 340nm has a good piezoresistive effect. It was proposed that silicon nanowires has seven times the piezoresistive effect than the bulk silicon. The polysilicon nanowire is fabricated in such a way that it forms a bridge between the polysilicon diaphragm and the substrate. The fabricated polysilicon nanowire has high sensitivity of about 156 mV/V.KPa.


MEMS, Piezoresistive Effect, Nano Wire, Pressure Sensor

Full Text:



W. J. Fleming, “Overview of automotive sensors,” IEEE Sensors J., vol. 1, pp. 296–308, Dec. 2001.

R. Schlierf, M. Gortz, T. S. Rode, W. Mokwa, U. Schnakenberg, and K.Trieu, “Pressure sensor capsule to control the treatment of abdominal aorta aneurisms,” in Proc. Dig. Tech. Int. Conf. Solid-State Sensors,Actuators , Microsyst. (TRANSDUCERS‟05), Seoul, Korea, Jun. 5–9,2005, pp. 1656–1659.

L. Lin and W. Yun, “MEMS pressure sensors for aerospace applications,”in Proc. IEEE Proc. Aerosp. Conf., Snowmass at Aspen, CO,May 21–28, 1998, pp. 429–436.

B. P. Gogoi and D. Mladenovic, “Integration technology for MEMS automotive sensors,” in Proc. IEEE Annu. Conf. Ind. Electron. Soc. (IECON‟02), Sevilla, Spain, Nov. 5–8, 2002, pp. 2712–2717.

C. Pedersen, S. T. Jespersen, K. W. Jacobsen, J. P. Krog, C. Christensen,and E. V. Thomsen, “Highly reliable O-ring packaging concept for MEMS pressure sensors,” Sens. Actuators A, vol. 115, pp. 617–627,2004.

H. -. Wu, S. -. Young, and T. -. Kuo, “A low-cost pressure sensor for maternal uterine activity monitoring,” in Proc. IEEE Instrum. Measure.Technol. Conf. (IMTC‟00), Baltimore, MD, May 1–4, 2000, pp.707–709.

K. Petersen, “A new age for MEMS,” in Proc. Int. Conf. Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, Microsyst. Dig. Tech. (TRANSDUCERS‟05), Seoul, Korea, Jun. 5–9, 2005, pp. 1–4.

J. Jordana and R. Pall„as-Areny, “A simple, efficient interface circuit for piezoresistive pressure sensors,” Sens. Actuators A, vol. 127, pp.69–73, 2006.

L. Lin, H. -. Chu, and Y. -. Lu, “A simulation program for the sensitivity and linearity of piezoresistive pressure sensors,” IEEE J. Microelectromech.Syst., vol. 8, pp. 514–522, Dec. 1999.

Z. Dibi, A. Boukabache, and P. Pons, “Effect of the silicon membrane flatness defect on the piezoresistive pressure sensor response,” in Proc IEEE Conf. Electron., Circuits, Syst. (ICECS‟00), Jounieh, Lebanon, Dec. 17–20, 2000, pp. 853–856.

S. C. Gong, “Effects of pressure sensor dimensions on process window of membrane thickness,” Sens. Actuators A, vol. 112, pp. 286–290, 2004.

S. Vlassis, T. Laopoulos, and S. Siskos, “Pressure sensors interfacing circuit with digital output,” Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng. Circuits Devices

R. He, P. Yang, “Giant Piezoresistance Effect in Silicon Nanowires”, Nature nanotechnology, vol. 1,pp. 42-46, 2006.

H. Jensenius, J. Thaysen, A. A. Rasmussen, L. H.Veje, O. Hansen, A. Boisen, “A microcantilever-based alcohol vapor sensor-application and response model”,Applied Physics Letters, vol. 76, pp. 2615-2617, 2000

Min-Xin Zhou, Qing-An Huang, SeniorMember,IEEE,Ming Qin, and Wei Zhou “A Novel Capacitive Pressure Sensor Based on Sandwich Structures” Journal of microelectromechanical systems, vol. 14, pp. 1272-1282, 2005.

K. Reck, J. Richter, O. Hansen and E.V. Thomsen Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark“Piezoresistive effect in top-down fabricated Silicon nanowires ” Proc. MEMS 2008


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.