Title: On-chip electrometer using MEMS parallel-plate pull-in sensing

Authors: Russell Y. Webb, Noel C. MacDonald

Addresses: Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Abstract: Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) have been proposed as DC electrical metrology references. The design reported here is the first to enhance the qualities of a MEMS DC reference with potential tuning and sensing via an isolated and monolithically integrated MEMS technology and thereby, convert a stable parallel-plate voltage reference to a simple, sensitive, low-burden voltage sensor. This on-chip system reliably measures unknown potentials ranging from −60 to 60V with sampling times less than 10 ms. In the initial design, the system is used to measure atto-amp leakage current though 10 PΩ, suspended, MEMS isolation.

Keywords: electrometer; pull-in; microelectromechanical systems; parallel plates; voltage reference; MEMS isolation; DC electrical metrology; potential tuning; sensing; voltage sensors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISTA.2007.014132

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2007 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.149 - 162

Available online: 22 Jun 2007

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