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TEM Module

Piezoresistive pressure sensor simulation

This example models a piezoresistive pressure sensor using the Mechanical analysis module of IntelliSuite. The device consists of a membrane, fixed around the edges, with a trace wire on the surface. The wire is made of a piezoresistive material (a material whose resistance is a function of strain).

When a pressure is applied to the back of the membrane, the membrane (and the wire on it) deform, changing the resistance of the wire. By measuring the resistance of the wire, one can measure the pressure causing the deformation.

Analysis
Analysis

Click

Start…Programs…IntelliSuite…ThermoElectroMechanical

The Mechanical analysis module will appear. The model that will be used for this analysis has already been created.

Click

File…Open

Select pzr_sensor.save from the \IntelliSuite\Training\TEM\Piezo-resistive-pressure_sensor\directory. Click Open.

directory. Click Open . Figure 131 Piezoresistive pressure sensor model Simulation

Figure 131 Piezoresistive pressure sensor model

Simulation Setting

Click

Simulation … Simulation Setting

Set the Calculation Type to Static and the Analysis Type to Stress/Displacement. In the Piezo Material section of

ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module

the window, check the Piezoresistive – Transducer Assembly.

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check the Piezoresistive – Transducer Assembly. 169 Figure 132 Simulation Setting Dialog Boundary conditions The

Figure 132 Simulation Setting Dialog

Boundary conditions

The four lateral faces of the membrane must be fixed. To make the sides easier to see,

Click

View…Zoom…Define

Set the Z scale factor to 10. Click OK.

Click

Boundary…Fixed

Select each of the four side faces of the membrane. Two of the faces are shown in Figure 133.

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170 TEM Module Figure 133 Two of the 4 lateral faces for fixed boundary condition Material

Figure 133 Two of the 4 lateral faces for fixed boundary condition

Material properties

The resistivity values of the membrane and the resistor must be adjusted.

Click

Material…Check/Modify

Select the green (membrane) entity

Double Click

RESIST

Set the resistivity to 2.5 ohm.cm. Click OK twice.

The initial resistivity of the wire must then be set. Select the yellow (resistor) entity

Double Click

RESIST

Set the resistivity to 5e-5 ohm.cm. Click OK twice.

Piezoresistive properties must now be applied to the resistor wire to define how the wire resistance will change as a function of strain.

Click

MaterialCheck/ Modify Select the yellow (resistor) entity. Select Piezoresistive

Coeff and check the values and modify accordingly. Click OK to accept the default values.

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 171 Figure 134 Piezoresistive properties dialog box Transducer analysis (pressure =

Figure 134 Piezoresistive properties dialog box

Transducer analysis (pressure = 0)

For the initial simulation, no pressure will be applied, so that the baseline electrical response of the wire can be measured. The stresses in the full transducer model must be calculated first (even if there will be no external loading applied).

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

All results should be zero (0).

Prepare resistor submodel

The piezoresistive analysis can now be set up.

Click

Mesh…Extract Resistor Mesh

Only the resistor wire should now be shown in the software window, as in Figure 135.

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172 TEM Module Figure 135 Piezoresistor model Refine the resistor mesh Click Mesh…Auto Enter a maximum

Figure 135 Piezoresistor model

Refine the resistor mesh

Click

Mesh…Auto

Enter a maximum mesh size of 5 mm.

Apply electrothermal loads

Click

Loads…Current…Face

Select the left (input) electrical contact face (see Figure 136a) and enter a value of 1e-3 A/mm 2 . This corresponds to a 5 mA current.

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 173 (a) (b) Figure 136 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts Click

(a)

ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 173 (a) (b) Figure 136 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts Click

(b)

Figure 136 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts

Click

Loads…Voltage…Face

Select the right (output) electrical contact face (see Figure 136 b) and enter a value of 0 V. This will serve as the reference voltage for the solution.

Click

Loads…Temperature…Face

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Select the bottom face of the wire (see Figure 137) and enter a value of 20 deg C. This represents a “heat sink” boundary condition, in which the wire sits on the membrane, which is always at 20 deg C.

the wire sits on the membrane, which is always at 20 deg C. Figure 137 Bottom

Figure 137 Bottom face for temperature load

Resistor analysis

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

When the simulation is finished,

Click

Result…Potential

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 175 Figure 138 Electrical potential The potential at the input is 0.6616 V.

Figure 138 Electrical potential

The potential at the input is 0.6616 V. As the current was 5 mA, this corresponds to a resistance of 132.32 Ohm.

View the other results (Current Density, Temperature).

Transducer analysis (pressure = 0.5 MPa)

The second simulation will use the same model and properties, this time with a 0.5 MPa pressure load applied to the back of the membrane. To return to the model of the entire device,

Click

Simulation…Piezoresistive…Show Transducer

Click

Simulation…Simulation Setting

Set the Analysis Type to Stress/Displacement. Click OK.

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176 TEM Module Loads Figure 139 Simulation Setting Dialog Click Loads … Pressure … Face Select

Loads

Figure 139 Simulation Setting Dialog

Click

Loads … Pressure … Face

Select the bottom face of the membrane (see Figure 140) and enter a pressure of 0.5 MPa.

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 177 Figure 140 Bottom face of membrane Click Analysis…Start Static Analysis View

Figure 140 Bottom face of membrane

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

View the results (Z displacement, Stresses, etc.). If the z-scale factor is still set to 10, the deformation will appear larger than it actually is.

set to 10, the deformation will appear larger than it actually is. Figure 141 z-displacement results

Figure 141 z-displacement results (scaling factor=10)

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TEM Module

The piezoresistive analysis must now be set up again with the new stresses.

Resistor analysis

We can now run the piezoresistor analysis again without any additional setup required.

Click

Simulation…Piezoresistive…Show Resistor

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

When the simulation is finished,

Click

Result…Potential

When the simulation is finished, Click Result…Potential Figure 142 Electrical potential The potential at the input

Figure 142 Electrical potential

The potential at the input is 0.6571 V. As the current was 5 mA, this corresponds to a resistance of 131.42 Ohm.

View the other results (Current Density, Temperature).

Device Rotation

In the previous analysis, the resistance change is small due to the default crystalline orientation. That is, the layout of the resistors is aligned along the <100> orientation of a p-type <110> oriented silicon wafer.

The user can rotate the mask layout in Blueprint or 3D structure in 3DBuilder by 45 so that the resistors will be aligned the <110> orientation. In that case, the resistance change will increase significantly.

Click

File…Open

Select pzr_sensor_45.save from the \IntelliSuite\Training\TEM\Piezo-resistive-pressure_sensor\

directory. Click Open.

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Compared to the previous 3D model, this structure is rotated counterclockwise around z-asix by 45 .

structure is rotated counterclockwise around z-asix by 45 . Figure 143 Rotated piezoresistive pressure sensor model

Figure 143 Rotated piezoresistive pressure sensor model

Simulation Setting

Click

Simulation…Simulation Setting

Set the Calculation Type to Static and the Analysis Type to Stress/Displacement. In the Piezo Material section of the window, check the Piezoresistive – Transducer Assembly.

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TEM Module

180 TEM Module Boundary conditions Figure 144 Simulation Setting Dialog The four lateral faces of the

Boundary conditions

Figure 144 Simulation Setting Dialog

The four lateral faces of the membrane must be fixed. To make the sides easier to see,

Click

View…Zoom…Define

Set the Z scale factor to 10. Click OK.

Click

Boundary…Fixed

Select each of the four side faces of the membrane. Two of the faces are shown in Figure 145.

ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 181 Figure 145 Two of the 4 lateral faces for fixed boundary condition

Figure 145 Two of the 4 lateral faces for fixed boundary condition

Material properties

The resistivity values of the membrane and the resistor must be adjusted.

Click

Material … Check/Modify

Select the gray (membrane) entity,

Double Click

RESIST

Set the resistivity to 2.5 ohm.cm. Click OK twice.

The initial resistivity of the wire must then be set. Select the green (resistor) entity,

Double Click

RESIST

Set the resistivity to 5e-5 ohm.cm. Click OK twice.

Piezoresistive properties must now be applied to the resistor wire to define how the wire resistance will change as a function of strain.

Click

Material Check/ Modify and Select the green (resistor) entity, then select

Piezoresistive Coeff to check the valuesand modify accordingly. Click OK to accept the default values.

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182 TEM Module Figure 146 Piezoresistive properties dialog box Transducer analysis (pressure = 0) For the

Figure 146 Piezoresistive properties dialog box

Transducer analysis (pressure = 0)

For the initial simulation, no pressure will be applied, so that the baseline electrical response of the wire can be measured. The stresses in the full transducer model must be calculated first (even if there will be no external loading applied).

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

All results should be zero (0).

Prepare resistor submodel

The piezoresistive analysis can now be set up.

Click

Mesh … Extract Resistor Mesh

Only the resistor wire should now be shown in the software window, as in Figure 147.

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 183 Figure 147 Piezoresistor model Refine the resistor mesh Click Mesh … Auto

Figure 147 Piezoresistor model

Refine the resistor mesh

Click

Mesh … Auto

Enter a maximum mesh size of 5 mm.

Apply electrothermal loads

Click

Loads … Current … Face

Select the left (input) electrical contact face (see Figure 148a) and enter a value of 1e-3 A/mm 2 . This corresponds to a 5 mA current.

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TEM Module

184 TEM Module (a) (b) Figure 148 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts Click Loads

(a)

184 TEM Module (a) (b) Figure 148 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts Click Loads

(b)

Figure 148 Left (input) and right (output) electrical contacts

Click

Loads … Voltage … Face

Select the right (output) electrical contact face (see Figure 148 b) and enter a value of 0 V. This will serve as the reference voltage for the solution.

Click

Loads … Temperature … Face

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Select the bottom face of the wire (see Figure 149) and enter a value of 20 deg C. This represents a “heat sink” boundary condition, in which the wire sits on the membrane, which is always at 20 deg C.

the wire sits on the membrane, which is always at 20 deg C. Figure 149 Bottom

Figure 149 Bottom face for temperature load

Resistor analysis

Click

Analysis … Start Static Analysis

When the simulation is finished,

Click

Result … Potential

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TEM Module

186 TEM Module Figure 150 Electrical potential The potential at the input is 0.6616 V. As

Figure 150 Electrical potential

The potential at the input is 0.6616 V. As the current was 5 mA, this corresponds to a resistance of 132.32 Ohm.

View the other results (Current Density, Temperature).

Transducer analysis (pressure = 0.5 MPa) (COPY)

The second simulation will use the same model and properties, this time with a 0.5 MPa pressure load applied to the back of the membrane. To return to the model of the entire device,

Click

Simulation…Piezoresistive…Show Transducer

Click

Simulation…Simulation Setting

Set the Analysis Type to Stress/Displacement. Click OK.

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ThermoElectroMechanical (TEM) Module 187 Figure 151 Simulation Setting Dialog Loads Click Loads … Pressure … Face

Figure 151 Simulation Setting Dialog

Loads

Click

Loads … Pressure … Face

Select the bottom face of the membrane (see Figure 152) and enter a pressure of 0.5 MPa.

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TEM Module

188 TEM Module Figure 152 Bottom face of membrane Click Analysis … Start Static Analysis View

Figure 152 Bottom face of membrane

Click

Analysis … Start Static Analysis

View the results (Z displacement, Stresses, etc.). If the z-scale factor is still set to 10, the deformation will appear larger than it actually is.

10, the deformation will appear larger than it actually is. Figure 153 z-displacement results (scaling factor=10)

Figure 153 z-displacement results (scaling factor=10)

The piezoresistive analysis must now be set up again with the new stresses.

Resistor analysis

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We can now run the piezoresistor analysis again without any additional setup required.

Click

Simulation…Piezoresistive…Show Resistor

Click

Analysis…Start Static Analysis

When the simulation is finished,

Click

Result…Potential

When the simulation is finished, Click Result…Potential Figure 154 Electrical potential The potential at the input

Figure 154 Electrical potential

The potential at the input is 0.7321 V. As the current was 5 mA, this corresponds to a resistance of 146.42 Ohm. This resistance change is much larger than the previous case.

View the other results (Current Density, Temperature).