Development of high precision microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based vacuum encapsulated resonators
Rapid development of micro-fabrication technology, once considered exclusively for aerospace navigation, is now regarded for a wide range of applications, including autonomous vehicle navigation, underwater and industrial applications. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based gyroscope employs a resonating mass (resonator) to detect changes in motion, which is the central element of the gyroscope. MEMS resonator energy loss is the primary barrier towards achieving navigation-grade precision, so predicting resonators’ vibration characteristics is critical for minimizing energy loss. MEMS high-precision resonators also need to keep operating in high vacuum to ensure no energy loss due to air damping. This project will seek a MEMS high-precision and ultra-low damping resonator design that can operate in wafer-scale vacuum-sealed environment and packaging. This design is expected to create a major technological shift in motion sensing; at an attractive unit cost, it is expected to create a ripple effect in other MEMS inertial sensing applications.