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An accelerometer is an electromechanical device which is used to measure acceleration and the force producing it. Many types of accelerometers are available in the market today. They can be divided according to the forces (static or dynamic) that is to be measured. Even today, one of the most commonly used ones is a piezoelectric accelerometer. But, as they are bulky and cannot be used for all operations, a smaller and highly functional device like the MEMS accelerometer was developed. Though the first of its kind was developed 25 years ago, it was not accepted until lately, when there was a need for large-volume industrial applications. Due to the small size and robust sensing feature, they are further developed to obtain multi-axis sensing.
Micro-electromechanical system MEMS is known as the technology which miniaturizes the mechanical structures and integrates them with electrical circuitry, resulting in a single physical device that is actually more like a system, where “system” is an amalgamation of mechanical components and electrical components working together to implement the desired functionality. Capacitive-based MEMS accelerometers are those electromechanical devices that measure the acceleration, based on movement sensed due to the displacement of the sensing element between the two capacitive plates. These are widely used in Military, Navigation, Automatic airbags, bio-medical areas, etc.
The major advancements in the field of microsensors have undoubtedly taken place within the past 20 years, and there is a good reason to consider these as modern technologies. The motive of the research is the improvement of the performances, the miniaturization of the electronic sensors and obtaining a price capable to compete with mechanical sensors. There are various methods for the electronic detection of the acceleration. The one called capacitive method is developed much enough in the last years because of the possibilities of signal processing with the technology of integrated circuits. This one presents the advantage of miniaturization but necessitates the presence of specialized circuits for signal processing.
So, the MEMS technology had a good start, leading to the realization on the same substrate of an acceleration transducer which includes the different circuits for signals conditioning. The manufacturing technology and the adjustments which must be made in the case of the capacitive method are more accessible comparatively with other methods for the detection of the acceleration.
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