Micromechanical precision pressure sensor incorporating SAW delay lines

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34 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a wireless surface acoustic wave (SAW) pressure sensor operating in the pressure range of 0 Pa to 250 kPa. In order to minimize the temperature sensitivity the pressure sensor is made of on an all-quartz package (AQP), which has been designed with the Finite Element Method. The package of the pressure sensor consists of a diaphragm and a cover, both made of conventional Y-cut quartz. A blind-hole was structured into the sensor cover. By attaching the cover and the diaphragm with an epoxy-adhesive, this blind-hole forms a closed cavity. The SAW element is a reflective delay line (RDL), working at 434 MHz. The RDL consists of ten reflectors and extends over the whole diaphragm. The pressure is determined by evaluating the change of the carrier phase shifts of the reflected impulses at the reflectors. We show that it is possible to minimize the temperature sensitivity and to achieve good linearity by proper positioning of the SAW reflectors. The measurements of the SAW pressure sensor show a deviation from linearity of less than ± 0,7%. The temperature dependence is almost negligible in the range from-20 °C to 100 °C. The objective of this paper is to provide a deeper insight into the behaviour of SAW propagation on pre-stressed substrates. To do so, we start with investigating the behavior of SAWs on stress-free substrates followed by an analysis of SAW propagation on pre-stressed substrates. Further, the requirements on suitable substrate materials for the AQP are specified. Finally, we take advantage of the method of differences to compensate for the temperature dependence of our pressure sensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-252
Number of pages26
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002


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