Design and Analysis of Micromachined Capacitive Accelerometers using IMU-MEMS Technology

  • Zakriya Mohammed

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Micromachined (MEMS) accelerometers have several advantages like low cost, small size, and high reliability. There are various fabrication techniques employed to manufacture accelerometers and in addition, new methods are continuously researched to fabricate MEMS sensors. The increase in the number of applications is one of the factors that drives such research. Accelerometer together with gyroscope and magnetometer forms Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). IMUs are widely used in our daily lives to detect precisely the location, orientation and the motion of an object. The present thesis reports the design of 1-axis, 2-axis and 3-axis accelerometers on IMU platform, which integrates for the first time a 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, and Lorentz Force magnetometer on the same chip. This reduces the assembly cost and fully eliminates the need for axis misalignment calibration and magnetic materials processing. Various MEMS accelerometer prototypes are designed and optimized with MEMS+, CoventorWare (FEA tool) and Matlab. The prototypes include one singleaxis in-plane accelerometer design, two dual-axis designs, one Z-axis and one 3-axis design. Multi-axis accelerometers inherently suffer from cross-axis errors which reduce the advantage of this novel platform. Our proposed design eliminates this drawback and achieves 0% cross-axis sensitivity. This type of performance is required for high-end applications. Currently available capacitive accelerometers generally have cross-axis sensitivities more than 2%. The work presented is part of Twinlab initiative by Masdar Institute to advance MEMS technologies with A*STAR's institute of microelectronics and is supported by Mubadala Technologies, GlobalFoundries, and EDB Singapore
Date of AwardDec 2016
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahmoud Rasras (Supervisor)


  • Microelectronics
  • Inertial Measurement Unit
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer
  • IMU-MEMS Technology.

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