Towards High-resolution Inertial Sensors Employing Parametric Modulation in Coupled Micro-mechanical Resonators

Published in Physical Review Applied, 2019


Highly accurate MEMS inertial sensors have a wide range of potential applications, including inertial navigation and seismometry. Conventional approaches to the implementation of inertial sensors reply on transducers that convert the external acceleration into changes in displacement of a proof mass or shifts in resonant frequencies. Recently, it has been demonstrated that inertial forces can also be measured through monitoring spatial energy distribution between two coupled micro-resonators. To extend this approach, we show that a weak dynamic coupling can be established through periodic modulation of the stiffness for a mechanically coupled microresonator system integrated as part of an accelerometer, enhancing the scale factor and resolution of the accelerometer. The resulting capability of parametric modulation also enabled the tuning of the operating point of the accelerometer through the modulation frequency. Utilizing this technique, we show that the scale factor of the accelerometer can be enhanced by a factor of 188, and a factor of 25 improvement in sensor resolution is demonstrated. Dynamic tuning of the sensor scale factor and inherent noise filtering is also demonstrated.
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