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1 SENSING AND CONTROL ELECTRONICS DESIGN FOR CAPACITIVE CMOS MEMS INERTIAL SENSORS By HONGZHI SUN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Hongzhi Sun
3 To my parents; and to my wife, Hanyao.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENT S First I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Huikai Xie, for introducing me into the fields of MEMS and analog circuits, and for his excellent guidance, constant support and continuous encouragements throughout my research. His profound knowledge and expertise in MEMS and other engineering fields are always the sources I can rely on. I would like to express my appreciations to my PhD committee members, Dr. Robert Fox, Dr. Jenshan Lin, and Dr. Peter Ifju, for reviewing my manuscript. Particularly, I am very grateful to Dr. Fox for the valuable comments and suggesti ons on my work. I have many thanks to Dr. Jo hn Harris for the help on IC fabrication, and Dr. Gerald Bourn for the help on FIB training. I would also like to extend my appreciations to all the professors and my fellow colleagues of the Interdisciplinary Microsystems Group at University of Florida f or their help on my work. Special thanks go to my research partners Kemiao Jia, Zhongyang Guo, Xuesong Liu, and Dr. Yingtao Ding, for their excellent work on designing and fabricating MEMS mechanical structures. I am very thankful to the Nanoscale Research Facilities of University of Florida for the support on fabrication. Finally I would like to express my deep gratitude to my parents and my wife, Hanyao. I could never have been able to finish the thesis without their understanding, encouragements and support. The project is supported by NASA Space Research Initiative, and Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan. I would like to extend my gratitude to the MOSIS for the fabrication of IC chips.
5 T ABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 page LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 8 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 9 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 15 1.1 Background and Motivation ........................................................................... 15 1.2 Objectives and Contributions ........................................................................ 18 1.3 Organizations of the Dissertation .................................................................. 20 2 MEMS INERTIAL SENSORS ................................................................................. 22 2.1 Capacitive MEMS Accelerometers ................................................................ 22 2.2 Vibratory Gyroscopes .................................................................................... 25 2.2.1 Coriolis Eff ect ....................................................................................... 25 2.2.2 Operation of Gyroscopes ..................................................................... 26 2.2.3 Electrostatic Force................................................................................ 31 2.2.4 Quadrature Error and Direct Coupling .................................................. 33 2.2.5 Excitation of the Primary Mode ............................................................ 35 2.3 Manufacturing Technologies ......................................................................... 38 2.3.1 Surface Micromachining ....................................................................... 39 2.3.2 Bulk Micromachining ............................................................................ 40 3 CMOS MEMS TECHNOLOGIES ............................................................................ 42 3.1 CMOS MEMS Technologies ......................................................................... 42 3.1.1 Pre CMOS and Inter CMOS Technology ............................................. 43 3.1.2 Post CMOS MEMS Technology ........................................................... 43 3.2 Bulk Post CMOS Process in This Work ........................................................ 46 3.3 Fabricated Dev ices ....................................................................................... 48 4 READOUT CIRCUITRY AND SYSTEMS FOR CAPACITIVE MEMS SENSORS .............................................................................................................. 55 4.1 Front Ends for MEMS Inertial Sensors .......................................................... 55 4.1.1 Discrete Time Front Ends .................................................................... 55 4.1.2 Continuous Time Front Ends ............................................................... 59
6 4.1.2. 1 Closedloop amplifiers .................................................................... 60 188.8.131.52 Openloop amplifiers ...................................................................... 63 184.108.40.206 Noise, bandwidth and power .......................................................... 64 4.2 State of the Art Works .................................................................................. 69 4.3 Summaries .................................................................................................... 72 5 IMPROVED DUAL CHOPPER AMPLIFIER FOR CMOSMEMS ACCELEROMETERS ............................................................................................. 74 5.1 Dual Chopper Amplifier ................................................................................. 74 5.1.1 Noise Model and Optimization ............................................................. 74 5.1.2 TradeOffs between Noise and Power ................................................. 77 5.1.3 System Design ..................................................................................... 81 5.1.4 Temperature Dependence Reduction .................................................. 84 5.1.5 Circuits Implementation ........................................................................ 85 5.2 Experimental Results .................................................................................... 88 5.3 Discussions ................................................................................................... 94 6 ELECTRONICS DESIGN FOR cmos MEMS GYROSCOPES ............................... 96 6.1 Front End Differential Difference Amplifier .................................................... 96 6.1.1 Design TradeOffs ................................................................................ 96 6.1.2 Differential Difference Amplifier .......................................................... 100 6 .1.3 Noise Analysis .................................................................................... 104 6.1.4 Considerations of Quadrature Error and Leakage .............................. 106 6.2 System Level Design .................................................................................. 107 6.3 Circuits Implementation ............................................................................... 110 6.3.1 Driving Circuits ................................................................................... 111 220.127.116.11 Front end amplif ier ....................................................................... 111 18.104.22.168 Low offset amplifier ...................................................................... 113 22.214.171.124 Driving stage ................................................................................ 114 6.3.2 Other Coriolis Sensing Circuits .......................................................... 115 6.3.3 Layout ................................................................................................ 116 6.4 Experimental Results .................................................................................. 117 6.4.1 Coriolis Sensing Circuits .................................................................... 117 6.4.2 Driving Circuits ................................................................................... 122 6.4.3 System Characterization .................................................................... 1 27 6.5 Discussions ................................................................................................. 131 7 IMPROVEMENTS ON THE GYROSCOPE SYSTEM ........................................... 134 7.1 H igh OnChip Voltage Generation ............................................................... 134 7.1.1 Dickson Charge Pump ....................................................................... 134 7.1.2 Circuit Implementation ........................................................................ 137 7.1.3 Experimental Results ......................................................................... 138 7.2 Fast Settling Ripple Free Peak Detector ..................................................... 140 7.2.1 Circuits Implementation ...................................................................... 140
7 7.2.2 Experimental Results ......................................................................... 142 7.3 Quadrature Error Compensation ................................................................. 144 8 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORKS ............................................................. 150 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 153 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 163
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Summary of the mechanical structures design of the accelerometer ................ 49 5 1 Cros saxis couplings of the threeaxis accelerometer. ....................................... 92 5 2 Summary of the characterizations of the threeaxis accelerometer.. ................. 92 5 3 Performance summary of the accelerometer of the latest version. ..................... 93 6 1 List of equipments used for the testing of the sensing circuits ......................... 119 6 2 Experimental conditions for the sensing circuits .............................................. 119 6 3 Performance summary of the sensing circuits for gyroscopes ......................... 122 6 4 Performance summary of the driving circuits for gyroscopes .......................... 127 6 5 Performance summary of the DDA based electronics for gyroscopes ............. 131 6 6 Performance of the z axis and the x/y axis gyroscopes ................................... 131
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 The lump mechanical model and the equivalent circuits of MEMS accelerometers .................................................................................................. 23 2 2 Capacitance variation caused by acceleration. ................................................... 24 2 3 Trajectory of the moving subject in a rotating frame ........................................... 27 2 4 Simplified mechanical model of a gyroscope ...................................................... 28 2 5 Bode diagram of the mechanical sensitivity of gyroscopes ................................ 30 2 6 Electrostatic force between two electrodes ....................................................... 31 2 7 Differential driving with electrostatic force. ......................................................... 32 2 8 Phase relationship of the important vectors of gyroscopes ............................... 35 2 9 Block diagram of the excitation loop for the primary resonator. .......................... 36 3 1 Process flow of the bulk micromachining post CMOS process ........................... 46 3 2 SEM photos of the threeaxis accelerometer with separate proof mass. ............ 49 3 3 Photos of a fabricated 5axis IMU chip .............................................................. 50 3 4 SEM photo of the improved threeaxis accelerometer. ....................................... 51 3 5 SEM photo of the z axis gyroscope .................................................................... 51 3 6 SEM photo of the x/y axis gyroscope. ................................................................ 52 3 7 SEM images of a quarter of the 3axis accelerometer with the details of the X/Y sensing fingers and the Z sensing fingers ................................................... 52 3 8 SEM images of a quarter of the z a xis gyroscope with the details of the sensing fingers and the driving fingers .............................................................. 53 3 9 SEM images of a quarter of the x/y axis with the details of the sensing fingers ................................................................................................................ 54 4 1 Schematic of an SC voltage amplifier ................................................................. 56 4 2 Illustration of noise folding. ................................................................................. 59 4 3 Schemat ic of an SC circuits with CDS. ............................................................... 60
10 4 4 Interface of a Transimpedance amplifier to a sensor ......................................... 61 4 5 Interface of an openlo op amplifier to a sensor .................................................. 64 4 6 Flicker noise and thermal noise vs. frequency. ................................................... 65 4 7 TIA and openloop amplifier working at carrier frequency ................................. 66 5 1 Universal m odel of the noise of front end amplifier ............................................ 75 5 2 Comparisons of different architectures .............................................................. 79 5 3 The architecture and operation of the DCA system ........................................... 82 5 4 The schematic of A1 with PMOS load. ................................................................ 85 5 5 Schematic of the OTA of the second amplification stage. .................................. 87 5 6 Schematic of the low pass Gm C filter. .............................................................. 87 5 7 Experiment setups for the accelerometer testing. ............................................... 89 5 8 The waveforms of the tested accelerometer and the reference to a 200 Hz 0.4g oscillation. ................................................................................................... 89 5 9 Dynamic response of the threeaxis accelerometer to 100Hz acceleration. ....... 90 5 10 Spectra of the accelerometer in response to a 100Hz acceleration. ................. 91 5 11 Dynamic response of the threeaxis accelerometer with improved z axis design. ................................................................................................................ 93 5 12 Comparisons of this work to other works in terms of noise and power .............. 94 6 1 The model of the front end amplifiers with lumped following stages .................. 97 6 2 Comparisons of the gain of different front ends ............................................... 100 6 3 The schematic of the DDA and its interface to the sensing capacitors ............ 102 6 4 The optimized SNR of DDA, compared to TIA, CSA, openloop amplifier, unity gain buffer, and SC circuits ..................................................................... 106 6 5 Sys tem design of the electronics for MEMS gyroscopes ................................. 108 6 6 The TRA design and the interface to the sensor ............................................. 111 6 7 Low offset amplifier of the second amplification stage of the driving circuits ... 114
11 6 8 Schematic of t he third stage of the driving circuits ........................................... 115 6 10 Schematic of the second stage for the sensing circuits ................................... 116 6 11 Layout of the whole chip. .................................................................................. 117 6 12 T esting setup of the coriolis signal sensing circuits. ......................................... 118 6 13 Output signal of the sensing circuits vs. input signal in amplitude. ................... 120 6 14 Transfer function (phase) of the sensing circuits at 1 kHz 100 kHz. ................. 120 6 15 Noise spectrum of the sensing circuits. ............................................................ 121 6 16 Testing setup for the TRA ................................................................................ 124 6 17 The transresistance of the TRA vs. the gate voltage. ...................................... 124 6 18 Differential output of the TRA vs. input in terms of peak to peak amplitude. .... 125 6 19 Output of the whole driving circuits vs. the input in amplitude. ......................... 125 6 20 Overall gain of the driving amplifiers vs. temperature. ...................................... 126 6 21 The setup of the pendulum for the dynamic testing of the z axis gyroscope. ... 128 6 22 Spectrum of the output of Zaxis under 8/s rotation. ....................................... 129 6 23 Output of the rotation rate of a pendulum compared with a referenc e accelerometer. .................................................................................................. 130 6 24 Spectrum of the output of X/Y axis under 8/s rotation. .................................... 130 6 25 Comparisons of the power and noise in terms of zF/ ................................ 132 6 26 Comparisons of power and noise floor in /s/ Hz. ............................................ 133 7 1 Schematic of the Dickson charge pump. .......................................................... 135 7 2 Simplified model of the interface between the charge pump and the sensor. ... 136 7 3 The schematic of the Dickson charge pump. .................................................... 137 7 4 Layout of the 6stage charge pump. ................................................................. 138 7 5 Output voltage of different charge pump designs vs. clock frequency ............. 139 7 6 Architecture of the switchedcapacitor envelope detector and the operation. ... 141 7 7 Response of the envelope detector to an AM signal. ....................................... 143
12 7 8 Dynamic range of the peak detector. ................................................................ 144 7 9 Block diagram of automatic quadrature error compensation. ........................... 145 7 10 Block Diagram of Loop for Quadrature Compensation. .................................... 146 7 11 Bode diagram of the quadrature compensation loop. ....................................... 147 7 12 Simulink simulation results of the gyroscope system ....................................... 149
13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy SENSING AND CONTROL ELECTRONICS DESIGN FOR CAPACITIVE CMOS MEMS INERTIAL SENSORS By Hongzhi Sun December 2011 Chair: Huikai Xie Major : Electrical and Computer Engineering The deep reactiveion etching CMOS MEMS techniques provide a low cost, small size, and highperformance inertial sensing solution. However, t he design of the readout electronics for the CMOS MEMS inertial sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes is chall enging because of their low mechanical sensitivity and small capacitance. In this thesis work new lowpower low noi se circuits architectures for CMOS MEMS inertial se nsors are proposed and are verified experimentally For accelerometers, an improved dual chopper amplifier (DCA) which modulates/ demodulates the signal from MEMS structures twice at high frequency and intermediate frequency and have the overall gain distributed properly in two amplification stages is applied to realize low noise and low pow er consumption simultaneously. A three axis accelerometer has been fabricated with the DCA based electronics and has achieved 40 g/ Hz for lateral axis, and 130 g/ Hz for vertical axis, respectively, and 1mW/axis power consumption. For gyroscopes, a novel differential difference amplifier (DDA) is developed as the front e nd of Coriolis signal detection. This DDA has advantages of high gain, low temperature coefficient, good linearity, and low noise. The DDA achieves a 24dB gain
14 and 0.01%/ C temperature coef ficient. A transimpedance amplifier (TIA) with a tunable gain is employed as the front end amplifier in the primary mode. A self oscillation loop with automatic gain control (AGC) has also been implemented. A lateral axis gy roscope and a vertical axis gyro scope have been integrated with the control and sensing electronics on a standard CMOS chip. The two systems achieve the sensitivities of 1.3 mV/ /s for the lateral axis and 1.2 mV/ /s for the vertical axis, with the noise floors of 0.046 /s/ Hz and 0.050 /s/ Hz, respectively. A 5 axis inertial measurement unit has been fabricated, containing a three axis accelerometer, a lateral axis gyroscope, and a vertical axis gyroscope. The accelerometer uses symmetrical structures and vertical springs for z axis f or higher sensitivity and less crossaxis coupling. The accelerometer achieves 50 g/ Hz for lateral axis and 80 g/ Hz for vertical axis, respectively. In order to improve the performance of the gyroscopes a six stage Dickson charge pump is developed to ac hieve as high as 32V voltage on chip, to increase the mechanical sensitivity. A fully integrated ripplefree peak detector is developed for fast peak tracking in the AGC loop of the drive mode. A method of quadrature error compensation is proposed and anal yzed This circuit designs presented in this work are designed for but not limited to CMOS MEMS inertial sensors. The method of balancing the low noise and low power consumption, the analysis of the system dynamics, and the concept of high gain front end amplifiers for ultra small capaci tors are also useful for other capacitive MEMS inertial sensors.
15 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background and Motivation Since the transistor was invented in 1947, the world has witnessed the revolution leaded by the rapid development of microelectronics. The similarly significant progress in microelectronics manufacturing technology extends the scope beyond the pure electronics and makes possible the development of the structures in micrometer and with mechanical functions, the s o called micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) The MEMS devices are able to work as the sensors of acceleration, rotation, light, pressure and so on, or as the actuators to drive the movement in micrometer range, or as the carrier of chemical reactions. In short, the appearance of MEMS extends the way much how microelectronics interface with the real world. The first MEMS device is traced back to the resonant gate transistor published by Nathanson in 1965 [ 1 ] and this area had made significant progress in the last two decades. The MEMS are forming a fast growing market. Some MEMS devices have been commercialized successfully, such as inkjet nozzles [ 2 ] micro mirrors [ 3 ] and pressure sensors [ 4 ] and currently inertial sensors stars in the market show [ 5 10] Inertial sensors which comprise a ccelerometers and gyroscopes are used to measure the linear acceleration and the rotation rate of an object with respect to an inertial frame [ 5 ] The classical market for MEMS inertial sensors is for automotive applications, in which MEMS accelerometers a re employed as crash sensors [ 1113] and gyroscopes a re used for electronic stability control (ESC) and rollover detection [ 1417] The market of consumer electronics, however, has grown rapidly in recent years The ADXL 330 accelerometer s from Analog Devices w ere a pplied in Nintendos
16 Wii game console in 2006 and mark ed the startup of a b ooming consumer market [ 18] In 2008, the IDG 600 gyroscopes from Invensense w ere added into the same syste m [ 10] and made the area even hotter Currently, three axis accelerometers and gyroscopes have been standard features of many popular mobile electronics devices, the most well known of which is the iPhone from Apple [ 19, 20] The share of consumer electronics are predicted to grow more rapidly than any other area and to dominate the market volume of MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes by 2013, which is projected by the Yole Development to be $3 billion by then [ 21] The consumer elec tronics market is sensitive to unit cost, and power consumption is another important factor for portable devices. Therefore, the development of the MEMS ine rtial sensors with low cost, low power consumption and medium accuracy [ 22, 23] is highly demanded. There has been a variety of sensing mechanism s reported for accelerometers. The piezoresistive sensing has simpler structure and fabrication process, but the performance is inferior due to the intrinsic thermal noise from the resistors and the large temperature dependence [ 2426] The tunneling c urrent sensing achieves subfloor [ 2731] However, those devices require an extremely small gap between the tip and the electrode (<10 Angstrom), which makes the fabrication very expensive. Moreover, the operation of the tunneling accelerometer needs a high voltage (tens of hundred volts) which limits the applications, and the noise floor of the low voltage device does not have significant advantage over the capacitive sensing [ 32] The thermal accelerometers can avoid using movable proof mass to achieve high reliability [ 7 33, 34] but the noise floor is relatively high, in the order of mg. The resonant
17 acceleromet er has a quasi digital output, which has better immunity to noise, so it can achieve high resolution [ 3538] But its major drawback is the narrow bandwidth (less than a few hertz ). M ost published and commercialized gyroscopes are based on the vibratory concept [ 5 ] and the reported sensing mechanisms include capacitive [ 17, 23, 3942] piezoelectric [ 43, 44] and magnetic detection [ 45] Among the published MEMS inertial sensors technologies capacitive sensing has the advantages of high sensitivity, low noise, low temperature dependence, good linearity, low power dissipation and low structure complexity [ 5 ] so it dominates the market and is the approach of this work as well. The CMOS MEMS technologies which are also called singlechip or monolithic solutions in contrast to two chip solutions integr ate the MEMS microstructures and the electronics on a single chip. Compared to its counterpart with two separate chips for the mechanical and the electronic part s, the CMOS MEMS technologies entitle reduced die size and parasitic parameters caused by the i n terconnections between the two parts The cost for packaging and testing will be lower as well. Therefore, t he CMOS MEMS technolog ies have the potential to be the ideal solution for lowcost and smallsize inertial sensor s. The design of the electronics for CMOS MEMS inertial s ensors, however, is more challenging. Due to the limits by fabrication processes, the mechanical sensitivity and the sensing capacitance of CMOS MEMS sensors are much smaller than those in two chip solutions, so the noise from the electronics will degrade the noise performance of the whole system more significantly The research of low -
18 power lownoise electronics for the capacitive CMOS MEMS inertial sensors will have noticeable benefits on the commercial applications of the technologies The technologies of CMOS MEMS inertial sensors can be further developed to build the inertial measurement unit (IMU) which contains accelerometers and gyroscopes for all three axes to track an objects inertial movements The conventional way of bui lding an IMU is to mount multiple singleaxis device s orthogonally [ 46] In this way, t he device at each single axis can be optimized, but the unit is bulky and the assembling cost is high. UC Irvine [ 47] reported an IMU based on the foldedMEMS technology that shrinks the size, but the assembling cost is still too high. An IMU that integrates all the devices on a single chip with CMOS MEMS technologies is of great interests and the research on the electronics for all the MEMS devices at all axes is critical for this goal 1.2 Objectives and Contributions The objectives of this work are to develop low power and low noi se interface circuits for CMOS MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes of all three axes, and to integrate multiple MEMS devices and corresponding electronics on a single standard CMOS chip with the bulk post CMOS technology developed in University of Florida. The work in this dissertation focuses on two aspects: one is the sensing electronics for CMOS MEMS accelerometers. The research focused on the openloop signal detection with low power and low noise realized simultaneously while the force feedback is out of the scope of the work. Based on the detailed analysis of the noise and the power consumption of the interface circuitry an improved dual chopper ampl ifier (DCA) with openloop front end amplifier is proposed, implemented and verified. In order to reduce the gain drifting with temperature, the front end amplifier is
19 improved by replacing the NMOS load with PMOS, and a bandgap circuit is designed to provide stable voltage reference. The DCA has been implemented with two prototype threeaxis accelerometer s with the bulk CMOS MEMS technology and characterized with extensive experiments. The second area that weighs more is the development of the sensing and the control e lectronics for MEMS gyroscopes. This work focuses on the electronics f or the gyroscopes working in atmosphere. Higher performance is achievable with vacuum packaging or mode matching, but they will either increase the cost or reduce the sensor bandwidth, so they are out of interest of this work. The fundamental theories of gyroscopes includ ing the Coriolis force, the excitation of the drive mode and the nonidealities are studied at first. The electronics design covers two modes: the drive mode and the sense mode. In the sense mode, a novel differential difference amplifier (DDA) is used as the front end amplifier for the first time to realize low noise, high gain, high linearity and low temperature coefficient. In the drive mode, the sensor is driven at its resonant frequency by a self oscillation loop. A transimpedance amplifier (TIA) with tunable gate voltage is designed as the front end amplifier that picks up the signal from the sensor and generates proper phase change, and an intermediate low offset amplifier and an output stage with large linear range follow the TIA to amplify the signa l and to feed it back to the sensor to excite the oscillation. An automatic gain control (AGC) loop is applied to control the amplitude of the driving signal, and a switchedcapacitor fast settling and noripple peak detector is designed for tracking the amplitude fast. All the electronics mentioned above and the other supporting electronics have
20 been implemented with an x/y axis and a z axis CMOSMEMS gyroscope on standard CMOS chip and have been verified experimentally. In order for better performance, a 6 stage Dickson charge pump is designed to generate high onchip voltage. It has been implemented independently and characterized experimentally. A dynamic quadrature error cancellation loop is proposed and is verified with Matlab Simulink. 1.3 Organizations of the Dissertation This dissertation mainly discusses the sense and control electronics for the CMOS MEMS inertial sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes The technologies for sensor design are included as well. This work is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the background and the motivations of this work. The objectives and the contributions of the aut hor are stated in this chapter. The organizations of this dissertation is provided at the end of this chapter. Chapter 2 introduces the background knowledge of the capaciti ve MEMS inertial sensors, which is necessary for the rest of the thesis. Then the operations and the nonidealities existing in the practical designs are discussed in details. The manufacturing technologies of the MEMS inertial sensors are summarized at the end of this chapter. Chapter 3 focuses on the CMOS MEMS technologies. The development of the CMOS MEMS technologies are reviewed first, and then the bulk post CMOS technology used for this work is introduced. Al l the fabricated MEMS devices in this work are shown in the end of this chapter.
21 Chapter 4 summarizes the front ends for capacitive sensors and discusses the issues of noise, power, and bandwidth that need to be considered during design. The system designs for MEMS gyroscopes from other groups are introduced as well. Chapter 5 discusses the improved low power and low noise electronics for accelerometers. The tradeoffs between the noise and the power are discussed first and then a method of achieving low p ower and low noise simultaneously is proposed. The improvements on the first amplification stage for lower temperature coefficient are introduced. The details of the cir cuit implementation are provided with details followed by the experimental characteriz ations of the circuits and the system Chapter 6 focuses on the circuitry for gyroscopes. A novel differential difference amplifier is proposed for high gain, low noise and low temperature dependence at the beginning of this chapter Then the system level design and the transistor lev el implementations are provided with details The circuitry is characterized firstly by itself and then together with the sensors, and the results of both steps are included in this chapter Chapter 7 describes the improvements made on the current gyroscope system. The design of a Dickson charge pump for high onchip voltage is introduced and the testing results are provided. Then a fully integrated ripplefree peak detector is discussed. A loop for automatic quadrature error co mpensation is analyzed and verified with Matlab in the end of this chapter. Chapter 8 concludes the work of this thesis and suggests the work in the future.
22 2 CHAPTER 2 MEMS INERTIAL SENSORS In this chapter, the fundamental theories of both accelerometers a nd gyroscopes will be discussed. Then the micromachining process of CMOS MEMS ine rtial sensors will be reviewed, with the details of the bulk CMOS MEMS process developed in University of Florida described in details 2.1 Capacitive MEMS Accelerometers A capaci tive MEMS accelerometer can be modeled simply as a block with certain mass called proof mass, whose movements are restrained to an anchor through a spring. The movements of the proof mass are damped if it is not packaged in vacuum A lumped mechanical model is shown in Figure 21 (a) The governing equation of the system is extma kx dt dx b dt x d m 2 2 ( 2 1 ) where m is the mass, k is the spring constant, and b is the spring constant. x and aext represent the displacement and the acceleration of the proof mass, respectively. And the transfer function is derived as 2 2 2 1 1 ) ( ) ( ) (ns Q s m k s m b s s A s X s H ( 2 2 ) m k n A nd b m Qn
23 where n is the natural resonant frequency and Q defines the quality factor of the mechanical structure. For the ease of analysis, the variables in mechanical domain can be converted to electrical domain, based on the conjugate rules that converts k, m, b, a, and F, to 1/C, L, R, I, and V, respectively. Therefore, the dynamics of the mechanical system can be analyzed as electrical circuits, which is more intuitive. The equivalent electrical model of the accelerometer shown in Figure 2 1 (a) is schemed in Figure 2 1 (b). For the accelerometers working in the flat band whose frequency is bel ow the resonant frequency, (2 2) can be simplified as k m s Hn 2 1 ) ( ( 2 3 ) In time domain, the mechanical sensitivity is defined as k m a x sext m a Figure 2 1 The lump mechanical model and t he equivalent circuits of MEMS accelerometers ; (a) mechanical model ; (b) equivalent circuit model (b) (a)
24 It is interesting to notice that the mechanical sensitivity is inversely proportional to the square root of the resonant frequency, which implies a tradeoff between the sensitivity and the bandwidth. Figure 2 2 Capacitance variation caused by acceleration; (a) variable overlap; (b) variable gap. The capacitance between two plates i s g A C ( 2 4 ) where is the permittivity of the dielectric material, A is the overlap area, and g is the gap between two plates. Since the capacitance change caused by proof mass movements is very small compared to the initial value, the capacitance change can be linearized as x dx dC C ( 2 5 ) Although ( 2 5 ) has different mathematical format for variablegap and variable overlap cases, it can be proved that the results after proper approximation are uniform, written as C x x C 0 ( 2 6 ) (a) (b)
25 In ( 2 6 ), x0 is the initial length of overlap for variableoverlap accelerometers, and is the initial gap for variablegap ones, and is the movement in the dedicated directions, which is linearly proportional to its acceleration. Therefore, the acceleration signal is transduced to capacitance variations that can be picked up by analog circuits. 2.2 Vibratory Gyroscopes MEMS gyroscopes detect the capacitive change caused by the Coriolis force, which will be discussed in details in the following section, and the conversion from acceleration to capacitance variation is similar with that of accelerometers. In this section, the Coriolis effect is introduced first, and then the operation and the nonidealities of vibratory gyroscopes will be discussed. 2.2.1 Coriolis Effect The Coriolis effect is the fundamental basis of the MEMS vibratory gyroscopes, and needs to be addressed before the other contents. As shown in Figure 2 3 a rotating frame of reference is defined with the axes of x y and z For the ease of understanding, the frame is subject to a counter clockwise rotation along z whose angular rate is A subject in the frame has the velocity v referred to the ground, which satisfies r v v ( 2 7 ) where v is the local velocity referred to the frame, and r is the vector pointing from the rotation center to the subject For the purpose of discussion in general cases all the velocities appearing in the following analysis are vectors. By differentiating (2 7 ) with time the acceleration is expressed as )' ( ) ( 2 r v a a ( 2 8 )
26 Taking the linear acceleration of the frame into consideration, a generalized equation is written as ) ( ) ( 2 r a m a m r m v m a m Fframe frame ( 2 9 ) F in (2 9) is the total force appl ied to the subject The term ) ( 2 v m is called Coriolis force, which is perpendicular to both the rotation axis and the vector of local velocit y, and the term ) ( r m is called Centrifugal force. The other two forces, framea m and r a mframe are because of the linear acceleration of the frame. Although the last three terms may contribute significant error to a gyroscope in practical cases t he Coriolis force should be focused on at the beginning of analysis In a simplified case with zero linear acceleration of the inertial frame, the total external force is zero, so (2 9) can be reduced to ) ( 2 v m a m ( 2 10) So there is a lo cal acceleration referred to the frame mainly caused by the Coriolis force and that acceleration can be detected by an accelerometer whose sensitive direction aligns to the Coriolis acceleration, with the mechanism mentioned in the previous section. According to ( 2 10) certain velocity is necessary to generate the Coriolis acceleration, and for vibratory gyroscopes, the velocity is generated by driving the proof mass periodically with electrostatic force, as discussed in the next section. 2.2.2 Operation of Gyroscopes The gyroscope can be modeled as a system with 2degreeof freedom system (2 DOF), as shown in Figure 2 4 In the drive mode, the center proof mass is driven by electrostatic force to move up and down along with the frame, whose movements is
27 restrained by the rollers within the vertical direction. When the gyroscope is subject to rotation in the direction perpendi cular to the paper in the sense mode, the induced Coriolis acceleration is in the horizontal direction, which causes the center proof mass to move horizontally relative to the frame and makes the sensing capacitance vary. The dynamics of the sense mode is similar with that of accelerometers as introduced in the previous section. Generally, a gyroscope is modeled as an actuator in the drive mode and an accelerometer in the sense mode. Figure 2 3 Trajectory of the moving subject in a rotating frame Similar to the accelerometers, the governing equations on the two directions are written as d d d dF x k dt dx b dt x d m 2 2 ( 2 11) dt dx m y k dt dy b dt y d ms s s s 22 2 ( 2 12) The subscriptions d and s represent the drive mode and the sense mode, respectively. In order to simplify the analysis t he net force in the drive mode, Fd, comes Trajectory of the moving subject
28 from the electrosta tic force applied externally, and the net force in the sense mode is only the Coriolis force Figure 2 4 Simplified mechanical model of a capacitive MEMS gyroscope. The driving force is assumed sinusoidal as ) sin( ) ( t F t Fd d B y solvin g (2 11) we get the function of the m o vement s in driving mode. ) sin( ) ( ) ) ( 1 ( ) (2 2 2 d d d d d dt Q k F t x ( 2 13) and ] ) / ( 1 [ / arctan2 d d d dQ ( 2 14) The function of the movement s in sense mode can be obtained by solving ( 2 12) and substituting (2 13) into the result as shown in (2 15) and (2 16)
29 2 2 2 2 2 2) ( ) ) ( 1 ( ) sin( ) ( ) ) ( 1 ( 1 2 ) (s s s ds d d d d s d s dQ t Q k k m F t y ( 2 15) and ] ) / ( 1 [ / arctan ] ) / ( 1 [ / arctan2 2 d d d s s s d s dsQ Q ( 2 16) In equations (2 13) to (2 16) people should be noticed that i i i ib m Q and i i im k i=d, s The mechanical sensitivity of a gyroscope is defined as: 2 2 2 2 2 2 _) ( ) ) ( 1 ( 1 ) ( ) ) ( 1 ( 1 2 | | s s s d d d s d s d m gQ Q k k m F Y S ( 2 17) Figure 2 5 plots the normalized mechanical sensitivity of gyroscopes versus frequency, with a typical set of parameters The resonant frequency of the drive mode and the sense mode is 5 kHz and 6 kHz, respectively. The quality factor, Qd, is equal to 200, while Qs is equal to 5. It can be observed from the figure that the maximum mechanical sensitivity is achieved at the resonant frequency of the drive mode. T his conclusion consists with the general understanding of the secondorder system that has high Q Therefore, a gyroscope should be excited to resonate in the dri ve mode for optimal sensitivity, where the displacement lags the driving force by 90, and then (2 16) becomes 90 ] ) /( 1 [ / arctan2 s ss d s dsQ ( 2 18)
30 Figure 2 5 Bode diagram of the mechanical sensitivity of gyroscopes For gyroscopes with s> d, which is the case of the design in this work, 90 d and 90ds so the Coriolis acceleration is in phase with the driving force. So the amplitude of the displacement in drive mode is d d dk Q F X | | ( 2 19) The thermomechanical noise of the gyroscope in terms of Coriolis acceleration is then written as m Tb k as B n Coriolis4_ ( 2 20) where kB is the Bo ltzmann constant, T is the absolute temperature, and bs is the damping coefficient of the sense mode. Sensitivity ( m/ /s) d s Frequency ( rad/s )
31 2.2.3 Electrostatic Force The drive mode of MEMS capacitive gyroscopes is excited by electrostatic force between comb fingers or electrodes. Figure 2 6 (a) shows a capacitor composed of two electrode plates, of which the area and the gap are A and g respectively. The voltage applied on each of the two plates is Vdc and Vac, where Vdc is a fixed dc bias, and Vac varies with time. The pot ential energy stored in the capacitor is 2) ( 2 1dc acV V g A E ( 2 21) Figure 2 6 Electrostatic force between two electrodes ; (a) gapchanging force ; (b) areachanging force The electrostatic force between electrodes appears attractive and tends to change either the gap or the overlap area of the capacitor depending on the restraining conditions And its value is derived as 2 2) ( 2 1 dc ac eV V g A g E F ( 2 22) for gapchanging case, and (a) (b)
32 2) ( 2 1dc ac eV V g d l E F ( 2 23) for areachanging case. Figur e 2 7 Differential driving with electrostatic force. Considering the MEMS structure design in this work, the areachanging case will be taken as example for detailed analysis in the following sections, and the results of gapchanging case will be provided without derivation as well. The result in (2 22) and (2 23) contains higher order harmonics of Vac, which introduces nonlinearit ies and thus is undesirable. Differential driving is used to cancel the harmonics, whose diagram is schemed i n Figure 2 7 Two out of phase ac signals, Vac+ and Vac -, are applied at the differential driving electrodes at the fixed plates so the net electrostatic forc e that the movable part suffers is dc ac e e netV V g d F F F 2 ( 2 24) Similarly, the net force for the gapchanging case is dc ac e e netV V g A F F F 22 ( 2 25) It can be observed from (2 24) and (2 25) t hat in both areachanging and gapchanging cases the driving force is proportional to the product of ac and dc signals. Fixed Movable
33 Compared to the gapchanging case, however, the areachanging electrostatic force has better linearity, because the scale factor i s not affected by the movements of the electrodes. Therefore, the design in this work uses electrostatic force to change the overlap area. Recalled from (2 15) the mechanical sensitivity of a MEMS gyroscope is linearly proport ional to the driving force, s o high amplitude of ac or dc signal is desirable. Highvoltage dc can be generated with charge pump, which will be discussed in d etails in Chapter 6, but high ac amplitude requires MOS devices working under high power supply voltage, which are not provided by all foundries. 2.2.4 Quadrature Error and Direct Coupling The discussions in the previous sections are based on ideal gyroscopes In realistic devices, however, various nonidealities exist and affect the devices performance, either slightly or seriously Some nonidealities have so significant impact s on the devices that they cannot be regarded negligible. The most important two out of them are socalled quadrature error and direct coupling, as will be covered by this section. The first nonideality to discuss is the quadrature error. Due to defects and/or variations from fabrication process, such imperfections as asymmetry and anisoelasticity are generated, which cause the movement of the proof mass to deviate from the ideal direction of the drive mode. Consequently, crosscoupled motions can be observed in other directions For example, the proof mass is driven in the x direction, but movement may be observed in yand zaxis of which y axis is the one for Coriolis signal in the previous analysis Since the cross coupled movement in other axis is in phase with that in the main axis, according to (2 14) and (2 18) it lags either the driving signal or the Coriolis signal by 90 and is commonly called quadrature error. The
34 amplitude of the displacement i n the drive mode is usually 2 to 3 orders higher than that induced by Coriolis force, so even small ratio of the drive mode movements coupled to the sense mode is strong enough to overwhelm the rotation signal. The quadrature error has the potential risk t o saturate the interfacing amplifier and to limit the dynamic range of the system significantly, if it is not dealt with properly. Due to the exact 90 phase difference, the quadrature error can be eliminated by the synchronous demodulation, which demodul ates the output signal with a clock that is in phase with the Coriolis signal Another error source is the movement direct coupled from the drive mode to the sense mode. In the previous analysis, the proof mass is driven in the sense mode along x axis, and the movements in other directions are restrained by rollers, which do not exist in real devices. Instead, the off axis movements are restrained by the beams that have certain spring constant kx, ky, and kz in the three axes, respectively, out of which ky and kz are much higher than kx, but not infinity. So the resonant frequencies of y and z axes are much higher than that of the drive mode. According to (2 14) the phase delay of the off axis movements compared to the driving signal is close to zero, whic h means the movements leaked to the sense mode due to finite off axis spring constant is in phase with the Coriolis signal and is not able to be removed by synchronous modulation. Figure 2 8 shows the phase relations among important variables Based on the discussion, there will be signal in the sense mode even if there is no rotation happening, due to the nonidealities, so the output signal of the sense mode is always a mixture of the real Coriolis signal and the couplings. The out put signal at zero rotary rate which is called zero rate output (ZRO), measures the extent how the
35 vibration in drive mode is coupled to the sense mode. The ZRO can be reduced in several ways, including demodulating the output sensemode signal synchronously, and using electrodes in the sense mode to apply an electrostatic force that counters the quadrature error. Figure 2 8 Phase relationship of the important vectors of gyr oscopes 2.2.5 Excitation of the Primary Mode The resonator of the gyroscope in the primary mode should be driven at the resonant frequency to achieve best sensitivity. The simplest way of doing so is scanning the frequency of an ac signal to find the resonant f requency However, fro m (2 13) the bandwidth of the transfer function around the resonant frequency is derived as d d dQ BW ( 2 26) Fx: driving force; X(t): displacement in driving direction; yc(t): Coriolis signal ycoupling: movement in the sense direction due to direct coupling yq(t): quadurature error
36 Figure 2 9 Block diagram of the excitation loop for the primary resonator. A rough estimation of the bandwidth can be made by substituting typical values such as d=10 kHz and Qd=200 f or the gyroscopes working in atmosphere, as it results in a 50 Hz bandwidth, which means 25 Hz drift will cut the oscillation amplitude by 3dB The quality factor can be even more than 10,000 for t hose with vacuum packaging, in which case the bandwidth is as narrow as 1 Hz So even a small drift in frequency will cause a significant drop on resonance amplitude. Due to the imperfections of the fabrication, the resonant frequency of gyroscopes spreads whic h means the openloop driving s ignal needs a fine tuni ng in frequency for each single device. Therefore, the openloop excitation is not suitable for the batchfabricated gyroscopes. Furthermore, the resonant frequency drifts during operations along with the environmental
37 parameters, such as temperature and air pressure, etc which requires the excitation circuits to be able to track the frequency drift in real time Since the gyroscope in the primary mode is a band pass filter by itself with high quality factor A better solution is t o build up a closedloop oscillator with the primary mode resonator as the loop filter as shown in Figure 2 9 where Hx/F, V/x, Fx/V represent the transfer functions and the subscription x, V, and F represent the displacement, voltage and the force, respectively. The conditions for oscillation are 1 | ) ( ) ( ) ( |/ / / G s H s H s H x V F x V F ( 2 27) and 0 ) ( ) ( ) (/ / / G s H s H s Hx V F x V F ( 2 28) According to (2 14) (2 24) and (2 25) 90/ F xH and 0/ V FH at the natural resonant frequency, so the phase of the term HV/x(s) G which comes from the electronics, should be 90 leading to satisfy these conditions. The loop gain is set a t 2~3 at the beginning for starting up the oscillation and it will settle down to unity in steady state. The closedloop excitation has the advantage of better stability than the openloop solution. If the phase of the electronics is not exactly 90 which is usually the case, the oscillation frequency will drift to satisfy (2 28) Assume the phase of the electronics is 90+ ver the driving signal is then 90 + (2 14) the corresponding frequency is ) ) 90 tan( 2 1 1 ( d d dQ ( 2 29) The transfer function of the displacement over the driving force is then
38 2 / /)) 90 tan( / 1 ( 1 1 ) ( ) ( d F x d F xH H ( 2 30) In order to have the magnitude of the transfer function from driving force to displacement cut no more than 3dB, up to extra 45 phase change is allowed, regardless of the quality factor. It is a very loose requirement on the analog electronics compared with that implied from the frequency point of view mentioned in this section, which varies from less than 1 Hz to tens of Hz For a proper CMOS design, 5 extra phase change is a reasonable estimation for the electronics for the primary mode, in which case the magnitude of the transfer function drops by approximately 0.4%, or 0. 03 dB. Since the initial set of the loop gain is 2~3, the gain requirements of (2 27) can still be satisfied. Eventually the system will find a frequency that satisfies both (2 27) and (2 28) and oscillate at that frequency. 2.3 Manufacturing Technologies Many technologies for MEMS inertial sensors fabrication have been reported in literatures. In terms of how the mechanical structures are formed, t hese technologies can be broadly divided into two groups: the bulk micromachining technologies which form the microstructures by selectively etching bulk materials, and the surface mi cromachining technologies which form the microstructure by growing and etching different kinds of films on top of the supporting substrates. The border between these two groups is not precise, and technologies can be probably found to fit into both of the two groups or neither of them. However, for the purpose of briefly introducing the manufacturing technologies, this division is sufficient. The manufacturing technologies can also be divided into twochip solutions and singlechip monolithic solutions in terms of how the MEMS microstructures are
39 implemented with the circuitry. This division is more accurate because a monolithic solution integrates both parts on a single die whereas a two chip solution has two separate chips for the mechanical part and the electronic part, and the two chips are combined using external connections. The technologies of singlechip solutions are also referred as CMOS MEMS technologies. In this section, the surface and bulk micromachining technologies will be reviewed briefly The CMOS MEMS technologies, as the technical approach of this work, will be introduced in details in Chapter 3. 2.3.1 Surface Micromachining In surface micromachining technologies, the mechanical structures are formed by etching the film s grown on top of the substrate [ 4852] The most commonly used material for device layer is polysilicon, and t he accelerometers with thin poly silicon film as the surface layer have been c ommercialized for more than 10 years [ 11] Other structural materials include various metals and amorphous silicon nitride, such as the surface micromachining technologies developed by Carnegie Mellon University which uses the metal layer existing in CMOS chip s as the structure layer [ 53, 54] as well as the mask for etching. The main drawback of the thinfilm technologies is the small device thickness, which limits the available capacitance and proof mass and leads to high thermal mechanical noise. And the residual stress existing in the structure layer can cause serious curling, which limits the size of the proof mass and degrades the performance more. The typical noise floor for the MEMS accelerometers fabricated with thinfilm polysilicon is hundreds of g /
40 In order for larger masses, a so called epi poly technology is used to grow thich polysilicon layer on SiO2 film on a silicon substrate. Bosch and STMicroelectronics have achieved more than 10 m thick polysilicon in their commercial gyroscope products. 2.3.2 Bulk Micromachining In bulk mic romachining process, the microstructure is formed by etching the singlecrystal silicon of the substrate. The usage of the bulk material increases the device thickness and avoids the stress existing in the surface micromachining technologies, so the devices with large size and weight can be realized [ 5558 ] Most reported highperformance accelerometers and gyroscopes are fabricated with the bulk micromachining tec hnology [ 5860] Many of them use multi wafer bonding or silicon on insulator (SOI) technology to form the proof with desired large thickness [ 59, 6163] Some special techniques such as wafer dissolving, doubleside process and thick EPI SOI wafer are also utilized in the bulk process [ 60, 64 65] Although high performance is achieved, t hose processes complicate the fabrication and increase the cost. The devices mentioned above are all for twochip solutions, but the bulk micromachining can also be applied on singlechip solutions. The bulk CMOS MEMS technology developed by Qu [ 58, 66] at University of Florida uses the substrate of CMOS chips as the bulk material. It inherit s the advantage of process simplicity from the thin film CMOS MEMS technology developed by Carnegie Mellon University and increas es the proof mass with the singlecrystal silicon underneath the metal films The reported accelerometer fabricated with this process achieves a 12 The Invensense Inc. has invented a socalled Nasiri process, which use the wafer level bonding to reduce the package cost. In this process, the wafer for devices is firstly
41 processed and bonded to the wafer for CMOS circuits, and then the last etching step is executed to release the devices.
42 3 CHAPTER 3 CMOS MEMS TECHNOLOGIES In this chapter, various CMOS MEMS technologies are introduced, followed by the detailed description of the manufacturing process for the sensors in this dissertat ion. The fabricated accelerometers and gyroscopes that work with the electronics in this work will be shown at the end of this chapter. 3.1 CMOS MEMS Technologies The MEMS inertial sensors and CMOS electronics can be implemented on a single chip or on two chi ps. In two chip solutions, there are two separate chips for MEMS structures and applicationspecified integrated circuits (ASIC). The MEMS chip sits either beside or on the top of the ASIC chip, and the two chips are combined using, for example, bonding wi res. The ASIC can be fabricated with standard foundry technologies, and the mechanical and the electronic part can be optimized separately for better performance and higher yield. However, the large parasitic parameters introduced by the interconnection between the two parts degrade the signal to noise ratio ( SNR). The increased size for allowing two chips and extra cost for packaging and testing also need to be considered. The CMOS MEMS process refers to the technologies that integrate MEMS structures and CMOS circuitry on a single chip, in comparison to the twochip solutions mentioned above. In terms of the procedure of CMOS and MEMS fabrication, the CMOS MEMS technologies can be categorized as preCMOS, inter CMOS, and post CMOS technology [ 67]
43 3.1.1 Pre CMOS and Inter CMOS Technology Sandia National Laboratory developed a preCMOS technology, called micromechanics first process, which fabricates micromechanical structures in a trench etched on the surface of the wafer before CMOS process [ 68] The micromechanical str uctures are sealed by a nitride membrane during the CMOS process. Post CMOS process is still needed to expose and release the structures. The preCMOS technology requires customized CMOS process, which limits its applications. One typical example of the intermediateCMOS technology is the iMEMS process developed by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) [ 69 71] originally dedicated for the fabrication of accelerometers and gyroscopes It is customized based on their BiCMOS technology. LPCVD poly silicon deposition and annealing are inserted in the CMOS process steps to form the micromechanical structures. The feasibility of ADIs intermediateCMOS technology has been proved by their products on market, but there are several drawbacks remaining. First, similar as the preCMOS technology, the inter CMOS technology requires customized CMOS process, which means higher price than the standard process. Second, hightemperature annealing is required during the CMOS process, in order to reduce the residual stress of the mechanical structures, and it is potentially harmful to the formed CMOS layers. Third, the contamination during the switch between MEMS and CMOS processes would poss ibly be a serious problem. 3.1.2 Post CMOS MEMS Technology Post CMOS MEMS technology has the potential to overcome the drawbacks of preCMOS and intermediateCMOS technologies. Since the micromechanical structures are fabricated after the CMOS process is finished, it is possible to use standard CMOS
44 process, instead of expensive customized CMOS technology, to fabricate the electronics, as long as it is compatible with the micromachining process. The post CMOS micromachining can be categorized into two classes, thin film technology and bulk technology, depending on what layer is used to form the micromechanical layer. The thin film technology uses thin films, either from addon layers or from CMOS chips, as the structure layers. The structure layers can be metal dielectric, or other semiconductor materials, as long as they have the desired mechanical properties. The modularly integrated MEMS technology (MOD MEMS) developed at UC Berkeley can use either polysilicon or poly SiGe as the structure materials. However when polysilicon is used as the structure material, the aluminum interconnection of CMOS chips must be replaced with tungsten to sustain the high temperature for polysilicon annealing, and an extra TiN4 barrier layer is required to prevent the reaction between silicon and tungsten, both of which are nonstandard CMOS process [ 49, 72] Texas Instruments uses a sputtered metal layer for the structures of digital micromirrors and deepUV hardened photoresist as the sacrificial layer [ 73] Other materials such as electroplated copper have also been reported as the structural materials for MEMS accelerometers [ 74] The thinfilm structure can also be formed by micromachining the CMOS surface layers. A highQ RF MEMS filter was reported by IBM with the inter metal dielectric layer as the structure layer [ 57] A 256pixel thermal image array and a CO gas sensor with dielectric layer as the structure material were reported by a research group at ETH in Switzerland [ 75, 76] These technologies are all based on wet etching steps, which
45 imply challenge on the protection of the CMOS circuitry during etching and complicate the whole process. Carnegie Mellon University developed a technology that involves dry etch steps to avoid the problems caused by wet etch [ 53, 77] The micromechanical structure in this approach is predefined with metal layers on CMOS chips, which work as masks in the post CMOS etching, therefor e no lithography is needed and the process is simplified. Moreover, the multiple metal layers (normally 4~6 layers depending on technologies) provide high flexibility of the wiring and reduce the parasitics The main drawbacks of the thinfilm technologies when they are applied to inertial sensor fabrication are: first, due to the small thickness of the device layer, the sensing capacitance is small; second, the thinfilm structures suffer from serious residual stress [ 78] which limits the device size and complicates the process. Therefore, the performance of thinfilm devices is limited. Unlike the thinfilm technology, the bulk micromachining process uses the substrate as the device l ayer. Carnegie Mellon University developed a DRIE bulk micromachining process based on their thinfilm technology, and it has shown great advantages on the fabrication of large devices [ 77] A large flat micromirror was obtained with the help of the bulk silicon underneath the mirror surface [ 79] This process, however, has severe problems of undercut during the isotropic etching. Qu of University of Florida developed a new DRIE bulk micromachining process to overcome the undercut problems. A threeaxis accelerometer has been reported [ 58, 66] The existence of the bulk silicon prevents the curling of the structure due to stress and increase the sensing capacitance and sensitivity as well.
46 3.2 B ulk Post CMOS Process in This W ork The bulk micromachining post CMOS process was reported for the first time to fabricate a threeaxis accelerometer [ 58, 66] Recently the process has been improved for the fabrication of gyroscopes to improve the yield [ 80 ] The improved process flow is illustrated in Figure 31 of which each step is explained as the following. Figure 3 1 Process flow of the bulk micromachining post CMOS process The process is started with a fresh standard CMOS die from the foundry. Firstly, a silicon dioxide (SiO2) etching is pe rformed to remove the top glass layer of the foundry CMOS chip (a, b). Protected by the Metal4 layer, most of the device area is not etched in this step except the isolation region of the comb fingers. The etching is controlled (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h)
47 precisely and is stopped at about 0.10.3 m above the Metal3 layer which defines the structure. Then a wet Al etching removes the Metal4 layer and the Metal3 layer is protected by the SiO2 on top of it (c). Since the SiO2 in the isolation region is thinner than other regions, the si licon in the isolation region is exposed through a following anisotropic SiO2 etching (d) while the silicon in other regions is still covered by a SiO2 layer. Then, a backside silicon deepreactiveion etch (Si DRIE) forms a cavity with the remaining bulk silicon at the desired structural thickness (~40m). After that, a 0.2 m thick Al is sputtered on the backside (e). An isotropic Si etching forms the insolated structures (f), followed by another SiO2 etching plus a deep Si etching to define the springs, comb fingers and other mechanical structures (g). In this step, the Al layer deposited in (e) forms a thermal path that eliminates the over heating problem that causes the quick over etch of the silicon underneath the isolated comb fingers. Furthermore, this Al layer also significantly reduces the DRIE footing effect and helps produce finer microstructures. Finally, an Aluminum dry etch step on the backside releases the microstructures (h). One advantage of the process is the low cost, as the surface micro machining technology, because no masks are used during the processing. The metal layers on standard CMOS chips are used as the predeposited etching mask to define the sensor structures. Since the interconnection is realized with the metal layers, the nois e from the wiring is expected low. The process in this work is based on the TSMC 0.35 2P4M technology. Metal1 and Metal 2 are for wiring, Metal 3 defines the structure, and Metal 4 helps to define the isolation regions on comb fingers to make the voltage on each finger can be defined individually
48 The bulk micromachining technology enables the usage of the bulk silicon of the chip as the device layer, which increase the proof mass effectively. The thickness of the the photoresist as the thermal path, which tends to be carbonized during the DRIE processing and becomes hard to be removed by ashing. The aluminum layer is expected to have good thermal conductivity and is easy to remove. The CMOS MEMS gyroscope mentioned in this work is fabricated with the improv ed process successfully. The extent of improvement of the new process over the old one still needs more investigation. 3.3 Fabricated Devices Figure 3 2 shows a threeaxis accelerometer fabricated with the bulk post CMOS technologies. The CMOS circuits and the microstructure patterns are fabricated with the standard TSMC 0.35 m technology. The interface circuits are covered by the metal3 layer, so they are invisible in the figure. The details of the comb fingers and the isolation region on the fingers are shown on the right side. The comb fingers are flat due to the singlecrystal silicon underneath the metal films, and the silicon in the isolation area has been etched away to keep the fingers isolated from the proof mass electrically. The x/y axis detection is realized with the capacitive change caused by the inplane mov ements of the proof mass, while the z axis detection is realized with the out of plane movements of an imbalanced proof mass anchored with torsional beams. The proof mass for the z axis accelerometer is isolated with that for x/y axis to reduce the cross axis couplings. The details of the threeaxis accelerometer are summarized in Table 3 1
49 Figure 3 2 SEM photos of the threeaxis accelerometer with separate proof mass Table 3 1 Summary of the mechanical structures design of the accelerometer Parameters Values x y a xis z axis Overall size 1290 1330 780 720 Structure thickness 50 50 Proof mass 200 29.5 Springs ( L sp W sp ) 320 720 Sensing fingers ( L s W s ) 85 4.8 85 4.8 Finger gap 3 3 Sensing capacitance 400 fF 86 fF Mechanical sensitivi ty 10 nm/g 1.6 nm/g Thermo mechanical noise 7.5 34 X/Y axis Interface Circuits Interface T Z axis
50 A 5 axis IMU that comprises of a threeaxis accelerometer, an x/y axis gyroscope, and a z axis gyroscope is then fabricated with the same micromachining process on a 5 5mm2 standard CMOS chip with Vanguard 0.35 m technology. Figure 3 3 (a) compares the chip with a US dime, and Figure 3 3 (b) shows the microscopic picture of an released IMU. All the CMOS circuits are integrated with the MEMS structures and are protected by the metal3 layer during the post CMOS processing. Figure 3 3 Photos of a fabricated 5axis IMU chip (a) the IMU chip compared with a US dime; ( b) image under microscope. Figure 3 4 shows the SEM photo of the threeaxis accelerometer of the IMU. The sensor designs for the lateral axis are the same as the one mentioned above, but there are some improvements made on the z axis. The proof mass for the z axis is of symmetrical geometry and it is anchored with two vertical springs evenly. The symmetrical design eliminates the serious coupling from the y axis existing in the previous design. The zaxis accelerometer shares the proof mass with the x/y axis in order to save area on the chip. Accel erometer X/Y axis gyroscope: 1.65.65mm Z axis gyroscope: 1.71.8mm 2 3 axis accelerometer: 1.45.45mm 2 CMOS circuits CMOS circuits Test structure (a) Z axis G yroscope X/Y axis Gyroscope (b )
51 Figure 3 4 SEM photo of the improved threeaxis accelerometer. Figure 3 5 SEM photo of the z axis gyroscope. Springs for x/y axis Fingers for x/y axis Springs for z axis Fingers for z axis Drive Sense
52 Figure 3 6 SEM photo of the x/y axis gyroscope. Figure 3 7 SEM images of a quarter of the 3axis accelerometer with the details of the X/Y sensing fingers and the Z sensing fingers The SEM photo of the z axis gyroscope is shown in Figure 3 5 The proof mass is driven in the horizontal direction and the Coriolis acceleration occurs in the vertical direction, so all the movements are inplane. Drive Sense XY Springs XY Proof mass Z Sensing fingers Z Springs Z Proof mass Front side Back side XY Sensing fingers Front side Back side Isolation region
53 The SEM photo of the x/y axis gyroscope is shown in Figure 3 6 The proof mass is driven horizontally to move in plane, while the Coriolis acceleration occurs out of plane. Figure 3 8 SEM images of a quarter of the z axis gyroscope with the details of the sensi ng fingers and the driving fingers The released comb fingers and their functions are shown in Figure 3 9 Figure 3 8 and Figure 3 9 In order to show more details within one fi gure, only a quarter of each device is shown. It should be noticed that the Coriolis sensing fingers for inplane detection have the isolation regions at their roots, such as the fingers of the x/y accelerometers and the sensing fingers of the z axis gyros cope, while those for out of plane detection, such as the fingers of the z axis accelerometer and the x/y axis gyroscope, do not. The SEM photos indicate that all the mechanical structures have been released completely and the isolation regions have been f ormed successfully. Therefore, the feasibility of the bulk post CMOS process is verified. Coriolis sensing fingers Driving fingers Drive feedback Sense spring Sense feedback Front side Back side Isolation region Drive spring Front side Back side
54 Figure 3 9 SEM images of a quarter of the x/y axis with the details of the sensing fing ers. Front side Back side Drive spring Sense spring Coriolis sensing fingers Driving fingers
55 4 CHAPTER 4 READOUT CIRCUITRY AND SYSTEMS FOR CAPACITIVE MEMS SENSORS The target signal of the capacitive inertial sensors (acceleration and rotation rate) is converted to the capacitance change. The readout circuitry works to convert the capac itance change to the electric signals that can be further processed with other electronics module like amplifiers, filters, data converters etc The electric signals can be voltage, current, or frequency. The capacitance change is typically converted to voltage. Basically there are two fundamental front ends for the conversion, the discretetime front ends and the continuous time counterpart. Both two types will be discussed in details in this chapter The capacitanceto frequency (C/f) conversion is also possible, in which case the capacitance change modulates the fundamental frequency of the signal It can be implemented as a resonator with its frequency dependent on the sensing capacitance. The discussion of the C/f converter is beyond the scope of this work so no more details will be introduced. Due to the complexity of the electronics for gyroscope, the system designs of other groups will be particularly introduced after the discussions on the front ends. The technologies of their sensors will be intr oduced as well to make the information complete. 4.1 Front Ends for MEMS Inertial Sensors 4.1.1 DiscreteTime Front Ends The typical implementations of discretetime front ends for capacitive sensors use the switchedcapacitor (SC) architecture [ 51, 55, 60, 8183] The switched capacitor front end takes the samples from the sensors at periodical time and output it for further processing. A typical SC voltage amplifier is schemed in Figure 4 1 When 1 is high,
56 the voltage signal from the source is sampled to the capacitor C1, while the feedback capacitor C2 is discharged. When 2 is high, C1 is discharged and its stored charge is transferred to C2, so the voltage signal sampled at the dropping edge of 1 is transferred to the load capacitance wi th the gain of ( C1/C2). Regarding the capacitive inertial sensor, C1 is replaced with Cs, the sensing capacitor of the sensor, whose value is variable depending on the external mechanical signal. The input voltage source becomes an ac or dc reference vol tage, Vref. The output signal is then written as 2 s out ref C vV C Figure 4 1 Schematic of an SC voltage amplifier The SC front end provides a stable virtual ground, s o the output signal is immune to the parasitic capacitance. Furthermore, the SC circuit can be easily integrated with The noise of the SC front ends contains two major parts. One of them is due to the switching behavior The switch made of a MOS transistor can be modeled as a resistor
57 when it is at on state, and its thermal noise is sampled at the moment when the switch is turned off. The power of the noise is proportional to the value of kBT/Cs, where kB is th e Boltzmann constant, T is the absolute temperature, and Cs is the sensing capacitance of the sensor. The capacitance of the MEMS inertial sensor is usually in the order of pF (1012 F ) or sub pF, and the calculated sampling noise is in the order of tens o f ( 106 V ) which is a significant noise source. The other major noise contributor is the noise from the amplifier in the feedback loop, which comprises of thermal noise and flicker noise. The total noise from the amplifiers is lumped to the input node and the output noise is derived in ( 4 1 ). The flicker noise is also called 1/f noise, whose power spectral density is inversely proportional to frequency. At the resonant frequency of an inertial sensor, the fli cker noise is usually the dominant component. The effects of the flicker noise can be reduced by increasing the sampling frequency, but a larger bandwidth is required to keep the loop gain large enough, which usually means higher power dissipation. amp m n p s amp out nv C C C v, 2 ( 4 1 ) Another issue coming with the increased bandwidth is called noise folding, which is illustrated in Figure 4 2 According to the sampling theorem, the sampled signal in the frequency domain is n s s sn X T X ) ( 1 ) ( ( 4 2 ) Ts and s represent the sampling period and the sampling frequency, respectively. It can be observed that the noise at the frequencies of the higher order harmonics of the sampling signals will be folded back to the base band and be added into the total noise.
58 The equation assumes an infinite bandwidth, which is not true in the real case. So t he number of the harmonics, n is determined by the bandwidth of the amplifier in the feedback loop. In SC circuits, t he bandwidth of the amplifier is usually several times l arger than that of the signal to ensure that the circuit behaves properly. Assuming the bandwidth of the amplifier is BW, and sNf BW ( 4 3 ) The spectrum of the signal and the noi se will be ) ( 1 ) ( 1 ) (0 0f v T nf f v T f vs N N n s s s 2 2s sf f f ( 4 4 ) and N N n s s snf f n T f n ) ( 1 ) (0 ( 4 5 ) The power of the signal and the noise is 0 2 1 ) ( S T f Ss s ( 4 6 ) and 0 2 1 NN T Ns s ( 4 7 ) So the signal to noise ratio after sampling is reduced by a fact or of N : 0 01 N S N N Ss s ( 4 8 )
59 Figure 4 2 Illustration of noise folding. The correlatedoublesampling (CDS ) is applied on the SC front ends to reduce the fl icker noise and sampling noise [ 84, 85] as shown in Figure 4 3 It requires that the sampling frequency much higher than the resonant frequency of the sensors, which implies higher power dissipation. The noise folding still exists in the SC front ends with CDS as well. 4.1.2 ContinuousT ime Front Ends Unlike the switchedcapacitor circuitry, the continuous time front ends pick up and amplify the signal from the sensing capacitors continuously. The continuous time front ends are typically implemented as either openloop voltage amplifiers or transimpedance amplifiers.
60 Figure 4 3 Schematic of an SC circuits with CDS. 126.96.36.199 Closedloop amplifier s A typical transimpedance (TIA) amplifier is schemed in Figure 4 4 [ 48, 86, 87] Rf and Cf represent the resistive and capacitive feedback impedance, respectively, and Cp represent the parasitic capacitance. The equivalent impedance is f f f eR C j R j Z 1 ) ( ( 4 9 ) Assuming the ideal amplifier, t he output signal can be derived easily as: m f f f outV R C j R j C j j V 1 ) ( ) ( ( 4 10) Because of the virtual ground provided by the feedback loop, the output signal is immune to Cp, and this is an important advantage of the transimpedance amplifier.
61 Figure 4 4 Interface of a Transimpedance amplifier to a sensor The behavior of the transimpedance depends on the selection of the parameters If 1 f fR C where is the operating frequency of the input signal, then ( 4 10) reduces to m f outV C j C j V ) ( ) ( ( 4 11) The output signal is proportional to the ratio of the sensing capac itance change over the feedback capacitance, but independent on its frequency. The configuration with large RC constant has a highpass behavior so the dc offset of the amplifier will not affect the output signal. The transimpedance amplifier in this conf iguration is also called transcapacitance amplifier (TCA). T he gain of the TCA is frequency independent, and the output signal is in phase with the capacitance change. If 1 f fR C
62 ( 4 10) becomes m f outV R j C j j V ) ( ) ( ( 4 12) The amplifier shows a frequency dependent gain, and the output signal has a 90 phase leading the capacitance change. The phase shifting property is useful in the excitation loop of the primary resonator, because it can compensate the 90 lagging of the transducer at the resonant frequency for a 0 phase delay resonator loop. For a transimpedance amplifier, both the resistor and the capacitor are necessary. The resistor provides a dc path for the feedback path to avoid the saturation due to dc offset of the amplifier, while the capacitor helps to stabilize the loop. The output noise of a TIA is written as f amp in n f f f p s out nkTR v R C j R C C j v 4 1 ) (2 2 ( 4 13) The two terms describe the noise from the amplifier and that from the feedback resistor. On one hand, the input referred noise of the amplifier is amplified by a factor, which is called noise gain, to the output; on the other hand, the feedback resist or adds more noise. The noise from the resistor might be significant, depending on the parameters choice. A tradeoff arises between the noise and the gain of the TIA. From ( 4 11) and ( 4 12), the gain of the TIA is expected to be properly high, so that the signal to noise ratio will not be degraded much by the noise from the following stages. In the TCA, configuration, high gain requires small Cf, and in order to satisfy the condition that RfCf>>1 The gain of the TRA is determined by Rf, although RfCf<<1 the required Rf is still in Cf shoul d be very small, which is
63 hard to realize with the typical Poly insulator poly (PIP) on chip capacitors. The large feedback resistance adds so much noise to the amplifier that can be the dominant noise source. The operation at a modulated high frequency helps to relax the requirement on the passive devices to reduce the noise. H owever, high frequency implies at the same time larger bandwidth and lar ger power dissipation to ensure the phase shift within a certain range. The details of frequency are discussed in 188.8.131.52. 184.108.40.206 Openloop amplifiers Unlike the TIA whose gain is set by the component parameters in the feedback loop, the gain of the openloop amplifier is set by the parameters of the amplifier itself [ 52, 8890] The simplest case of an openloop amplifier is the commonsource configuration of a single transistor. Figure 4 5 illustrates the interface between the detection capacitor and the openloop amplifier. The output signal is then m gd load m gs p s s sV C R g C C C C v ) 1 ( 2 ( 4 14) Cs is the sensing capacitance, Cp is the parasitic capacitance from wiring, Cgs is the gateto source capacitance and Cgd is the gateto drain capacitance of the input MOS transistors, and Vm is the amplitude of the modulation signal that is applied to the sensing capacitors. A gai n factor of ( 1+gmRload) is put in front of Cgd, with the miller effects taken into consideration. The unity gain buffer [ 91, 92] is categorized into the openloop amplifiers in this work, although its gain is set by the feedback loop with zero impedance. The sensor is not connected to the virtual ground of the unity gain buffer, so the output signal still
64 suffers from the parasitic capacitance, which is fundamentally different from the TIA mentioned in the previous sections. Figure 4 5 Interface of an openloop amplifier to a sensor The output noise of the openloop architecture is 2 2 2 amp in n out nv G v ( 4 15) 220.127.116.11 Noise, bandwidth and power There are two major types of noise existing in the CMOS analog circuits, the thermal nois e and the flicker noise. The thermal noise is also called white noise because its spectrum is uniformly distributed at all frequency The thermal noise of a MOS transistor in saturation region is m thermal ng kT v 42 ( 4 16) D ox eff mI L W C g ) / ( 2 ( 4 17)
65 gm is the transconductance of the transistor, eff is the effective mobility of the carriers, Cox is the gate capacitance density, (W/L) is size of the transistor, and ID is the dc bias current. The flicker noise is also called pink noise, whose equation is f WL C K vox flic n12 ker ( 4 18) The flicker noise is a frequency dependent noise, which is more significant at low frequency and decays as the frequency increases. The comparison of the two noise sources with respect to the frequency is shown in Figure 46 At the frequency of the MEMS inertial sensors, usually in the order of kHz, the flicker noise dominates in the total noise. So the idea comes up to modulate the capacitance change information to a carrier signal at higher frequency to reduce the noise level. Figure 4 6 Flicker noise and thermal noise vs. frequency The continuous time front ends can work either at the baseband frequency or at a higher carrier frequency, as shown in Figure 4 7
66 The output signals of the TIA and the openloop amplifiers are m f f f s outV R C j R j C j j v 1 ) ( ) ( ( 4 19) and m gd load m gs p s s outV C R g C C C G j C j v ) 1 ( 2 ) ( ) ( ( 4 20) Figure 4 7 TIA and openloop amplifier working at carrier frequency The equations have the same expression as those previously listed, but Vm in ( 4 19) and ( 4 20) means an ac modulation signal with the frequency of fm. It should be noted that the C in ( 4 10) and ( 4 14) represent only the capacitance change due to the external mechanical signal, while the capacitance mismatch during fabrication does not affect the output signal. In ( 4 19) and ( 4 20), however, the capacitance mismatch is also modulated to the carrier frequency and is included in the term C The capacitance change of the capacitive sensors is usually small, so the signal due to the mismatch can easily overwhelm the desired signal and saturate the circuits, if the gain is high.
67 The equations ( 4 10) and ( 4 14) assume an infinite bandwidth of the amplifier for the simplicity of the analysis, which is not true in the real cases. A more realistic analysis can be done, assuming that the core amplifiers are well compensated with the dominant pole at p1. The spectrum of the output signals of the openloop amplifier and the TIA are ) / ( 1 1 ) ( ) / ( 1 1 ) 1 ( 2 ) ( ) (1 1 p ideal out m p gd load m gs p s open s outj j v V j C R g C C C G j C j v ( 4 21) and ) / ( 1 1 ) ( ) 1 ( )) / ( 1 ))( ( 1 ( 1 1 1 ) ( ) (1 1 p open cl ideal out m f f open p s f f f f f s outG G j j v V C R j G j C C R j R C j R j C j j v ( 4 22) f s f clC C C G for transcapacitance amplifier, and f f clC R j G 1 for transresistance amplifier. where Gopen is the openloop gain, and Gcl is the closeloop gain of the TIA The finite bandwidth of the core amplifier leads to an extra phase shi For openloop configurations, ) ( tan1 1 p ( 4 23) and for the TIA, ) ( tan1 1 p clG G ( 4 24)
68 The gain bandwidth product GBW is derived as L D ox eff L m effC I L W C C g G GBW ) / ( 2 tan ( 4 25) Geff is the effective gain of the front ends, which is equal to Gopen in openloop architectures and Gcl in closedloop architectures So a univ ersal equation is derived to relate the phase delay of both configurations to the power dissipation. In short words, less phase delay means more power. The requirement of the phase delay of the sensed signal is strict for MEMS gyroscopes because the excessive phase delay in the excitation loop cause the primary resonator to resonate not at the natural frequency with degraded amplitude, and that in the sense path leads to serious zerorate output (ZRO). Some accelerometers especially those on portable dev ices, have stringy requirement on power dissipation but less on the phase delay, so the phase delay can be properly large for the optimization of power. Another important issue is the optimization of the front ends for best performance on noise. By looking at ( 4 16) and ( 4 18), both the flicker noise and the thermal noise are related to the transistor sizes, and generally the larger size means lower noise. However, larger transistor size brings more parasi tic capacitance, which degrades the desired signal in the openloop configuration. So there should be an optimal size for the best SNR, which satisfies 0 W SNR ( 4 26)
69 Only the widt h of the transistor is considered in this equation, because the length is usually the available minimum size after considering such factors as the dc offset, and the layout issue, to reduce the power consumption. 4.2 State of the Art Works Almost all the publi shed MEMS gyroscopes are based on the vibratory concept. This section will review the available literatures about the MEMS gyroscopes with their readout out electronics. There are a large amount of publications talking about the MEMS structures only, but they are beyond the scope of this work. The research on gyroscopes is currently a hot topic, and there are many new publications coming up every year. Due to the system complexity, the previous works of the gyroscope will be reviewed by the institutes for better understanding. The Berkeley Sensors and Actuators Center (BSAC) at the University of California, Berkeley has the traditional to use the digital force feedback to construct an electromechanical sigmadelta loop. The architecture was firstly implement ed with accelerometers and was published in 1992 [ 4951, 93 ] The first published gyroscope systems are the work s of Clark and Junear from the year 1996 [ 94, 95] The primary resonator is excited with a loop implemented with a transresistance amplifier and an automatic gain control (AGC) loop that controls the exciting signal at the certain amplitude. The Coriolis signal is modulated to a higher carrier frequency and sensed by a charge sensitive amplifier (CSA). The demodulation signal is provided by a phase lock loop (PLL). In the work of Seshia i n 2002 [ 38] the angular rate is resolved by measuring the frequency drift of the third resonator, whose resonant frequency is affected by the compressive stress caused by the Cor iolid force. Jiang in 2000/2002 [ 39, 96] and Petkov in 2004 [ 97, 98] used SC circuits as the front ends of the sense mode, and
70 Coriolis detection is based on the higher order electromechanical loop. All these work s are based on surface micromachining technology. Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) published parts of their design of the ADXRS150 gyroscope in 2002 [ 48] The MEMS device and the circuitry are integrated on a single chip. The primary resonation loop contains a transresistance amplifier and a comparat or, while the Coriolis signal is sensed by a transcapacitance amplifier and then demodulated by the signal from the primary resonator. The gain accuracy is improved by the openloop temperature compensation, in which the gain of the Coriolis signal is tuned ac cording to the temperature from a Proportional to AbsoluteTemperature (PTAT) sensor. The structure is fabricated with a 3poly silicon structural layer. Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany, is another main manufacturer of MEMS gyroscopes. All the three generations of their sensors, DRS MM1, DRS MM2, and DRSMM3 have been published. The first one, DRS MM1 from the year 1997 [ 14] is fabricated using combined bulk and surface micromachining of silicon substrate with 12thick polysilicon layer (epi poly). The last two sensors, DRS MM2 in 1999 [ 99] and DRSMM3 in 2005 [ 17 ] are both based on surface micromachining technology. In the latest version of DRS MM3, he drive mode is excited with a PLL, and the amplitude of the drive signal is controlled by an AGC. The force feedback is established in the detection loop for a closeloop control and there is temperature compensation to improve the gain accuracy. Carnegie Mellon University has developed a post CMOS process that does not require etching masks. The process uses the metal layer on standard CMOS chips as
71 the mask to define the structure s and to make the interconnections, so it is also a surface micromachining technology. There are several gyroscopes reported by Xie [ 100] and Luo [ 101] which are all s inglechip s olutions. The readout circuit is realized with unity gain buffer, and the details of the electronics are reported in [ 102] Georgia Institute of Technology has a gyroscope fabricated by micromachining an SOI substrate whose device [ 103] and an electronic system is reported by Sharma [ 86 ] The signals of both the drive mode and sense mode are read out by transimpedance amplifiers. The amplitude of the drive signal is controlled by an AGC. The rotary rate is obtained by demodulating the sensemode signal with a clock from a PLL and filtering the signal with the off chip low pass filter. Helsinki University of Technology has reported a gyroscope system with the device from VTI Technologi es [ 104] The device has two orthogonal t orsional springs so that there is no mechanical coupling between the two modes. The device is fabricated with the bulk micromachining technology and the structure wafer is sandwiched into two wafers with electrodes. The system is a twochip solution, the f ront end amplifiers in both the drive mode and sense mode are realized with transcapacitance amplifiers The system introduces the discrete signal processing (DSP) to work with the analog front end to realize the control and sense function. ST Microelectr onics performs well in the consumer electronics market, and their devices are all manufactured by thick polysilicon with the epi poly technology. In the recently reported gyroscope system, t ime division is used to read out the Coriolis signal from three ax es with only one channel. The Quadrature error is compensated before it is fed into the main SC charge amplifier [ 105]
72 The Invensense Inc. has invented a socalled Nasiri process, which use the wafer level bonding to reduce the packaging cost. T he device wafer is firstly processed and bonded to the circuit wafer, then the last etching step is executed and the device is released. The details of their gyroscopes have not been published yet 4.3 Summaries The SC and closedloop front ends have been widely used, for their robustness and the immunity to parasitic capac itance, which is the shortcoming of the openloop architectures. So they are very suitable for the twochip approach, which suffers from large parasitic parameters. The main advantage of the openloop front ends over the other archit ecture is their low noi se floor. In CMOS MEMS technologies, the parasitic parameters are much smaller than the twochip solutions, while the sensing capacitance is relatively small, so noise from the electronics is the major issue. Therefore, the openloop architecture is a bett er solution for CMOS MEMS inertial sensors. The simple openloop amplifier suffers from worse linearity and power supply reject ratio, and the gain set by resistive load is sensitive to temperature. These issues will be solved by the design discussed in the next two chapters. Particularly for MEMS gyroscopes, because of the complexity of the system, the system design is very important too. For the drive mode, most of the publis hed works use continuous time electromechanical self oscillation loop with certai n mechanisms for automatic gain control. Those methods ensure the stable oscillation and the good linearity. In the sense mode, SC, TIA, unity gain buffer, and openloop amplifiers are all reported as the front ends. A very important matter is the precise phase control, which eliminates the effects of quadrature error and increases the dynamic range of the system. The DSPs or computer control add more freedom of the system and improve
73 the performance, but for the CMOS MEMS sensors, the analog solutions are sufficient for the development and verification purpose.
74 5 CHAPTER 5 IMPROVED DUAL CHOPPER AMPLIFIER FOR CMOS MEMS ACCELEROMETERS In this chapter, the details of the dual chopper amplifier for CMOS MEMS will be discussed in details. The idea of the DCA has been reported by Fang [ 88, 106] and there is some improvements in this work for better performance. This chapt er will start from the lumped model of an accelerometer and go through the whole design and optimization procedures to the experimental results. 5.1 Dual Chopper Amplifier 5.1.1 Noise Model and O ptimization Figure 5 1 shows the equivalent model of the capacitive sensing front end circuit. For the sake of analysis simplicity, only half of the commonsource differential pair is schemed, and the input PMOS transistor is shown as a small signal model. Mbias, a MOS bipolar pseudoresistor, is co nnected to the gate of the input transistor to provide the proper DC bias while mai ntaining large AC impedance [ 107] The electrical signal at the gate of the input transistor is governed by the following equation: m gd load m gs p s s sV C R g C C C C v ) 1 ( 2 ( 5 1 ) where Cs is the sensing capacitance, Cp is the parasitic capacitance from wiring, Cgs is the gateto source capac itance and Cgd is the gateto drain capacitance of the input MOS transistors, and Vm is the amplitude of the modulation signal that is applied to the sensing capacitors. A gain factor of (1+ gmRload) is put in front of Cgd in ( 5 1 ) with the miller effects taken into consideration. Figure 5 1 also lumps various noise sources existing in the front end of the interface circuits and model them in voltage or current, whichever is more convenient for analysis
75 Figure 5 1 Universal m odel of the noise of front end amplifier In Figure 5 1 nflickeri and nthemi represent the flicker noise and the thermal noise from the input MOSFET. nbiasi is the shot noise of the pseudoresistor for DC bias, nrdv is the residue noise injected to the sense node from the reference voltage sources for the modulation signals and the corresponding switches, nloadv is the noise from the resistive load of the front end amplifier, and nfollowv in series with the next amplifier stage lumps the noise from the following stages,. In a properly designed amplifier, nfollowv and nloadv are both negligible since these noises are reduced by a factor of the gain of the first stage when referred to the input node. The MOS bi polar device Mbias can work as either a subthreshold PMOS or a diodeconnected pnp transistor, depending on the polarity of vs. 2 nbiasi is a shot noise, and it is negligible compared with other noise sources since the DC leakage current is small during operation. The residue noises from the voltage references and the corresponding switches for generating the modulation signals may 2 nrdv 2 nrdv 2 nloadv 2 nfollowv 2 nflickeri 2 nthemi 2 nbiasi
76 be injected into the sensing node. However, for full bridge sensing capacitors, the residue noises are injected equally to vs and vs which are two input nodes of a fully differential amplifier, so that they are canceled by each other. Wu et al reporte d a detailed noise analysis [ 52] Generally, at low frequency, the flicker noise dominates, while the thermal noise takes it over in high frequency (usually above hundreds of kHz) and limits the noise floor eventually. In this design, the modulation frequency is chosen higher than the corner frequency, so only the thermal noise needs to be considered and it can be written as f I L W C kT vds ox eff n ) / ( 2 3 82 ( 5 2 ) where k is the Boltzmann constant, T is the absolute temperature, eff is the carrier mobility of the input transistors, Cox is the gate capacitance density, W and L are the width and length of the input transistor, and Ids is the drainto source current of the input transi stor. It can be observed from ( 5 2 ) that a higher W/L ratio of the input transistors means lower noise level. The length can take the minimum value, but the width cannot be arbitrarily large because the acceleration signal vs in ( 5 1 ) will be attenuated as the g ate capacitance increases when the gate width increases. Therefore, there is an optimal width to obtain the maximum signal to noise ratio (SNR), which can be derived by letting 0 ) (2 s nv v W ( 5 3 ) Plugging ( 5 2 ) into ( 5 3 ), we can obtain the optimal transistor width which satisfies the following equation:
77 ) 2 ( ) 1 (1 p s gd gsC C C G C ( 5 4 ) where Cgs, Cgd, and Cp are the gateto source, gateto drain capacitance of the input transistors and the parasitic capacitance of the metal stray for interconnection, channel transistors and needs fine tuning during simulation. More details about the derivation can be found in [ 52] 5.1.2 TradeO ffs between Noise and P ower The governing equati on of a simple openloop amplifier is given by load ds ox eff load m dB dcC I L W C C g f G GBW / ) / ( 2 / 3 ( 5 5 ) where GBW represents the product of the dc gain and the bandwidth of the amplifier, Gdc is the DC gain of the amplifier, f3dB is its openloop bandwidth, gm is the transconductance of the input transistors, Cload is the load capacitance, and eff, Cox, W and L are the carrier mobility, the gate capacitance density, and the size of the input transistor, respectively. The DC bias current is then derived from ( 5 5 ), ) / ( 2 / ) (2 3L W C C f G Iox eff load dB dc ds ( 5 6 ) This is the minimum bias current to meet the gainbandwidth requirement. So the power consumption of an amplifier can be written as ) / ( ) / /( ) / ( 2 / ) (2 2 2 2 3 2 2 3L W C GBW K L W C f KG L W C C f G V I V Pload load dB dc ox eff load dB dc dd ds dd ( 5 7 ) where is a constant representing the ratio of the total cur rent to the current given in (5.7) which is the current in a single branch of the differential pair. Openloop amplifiers and telescopic amplifiers, for instance, have =2, while foldedcascode
78 ampli fiers have >2, since the current drawn in the current mirrors need to be taken into consideration. Despite of the variation of of different architectures, 2 assumption in practical design, since the input differential pair usually consumes most of the power. Vdd represents the power supply, and Gdc is the DC gain of the amplifier. K is a constant defined to lump all constants appearing in ( 4 7). In real designs, the value of K depends on the architecture of the amplifier, and it will make t he following analysis very tedious. For the sake of easier understanding, K is assumed identical for both openloop and closed loop amplifiers in the following analysis. It has been mentioned in the previous section that the modulation frequency is above the corner frequency of the thermal and flicker noise, which is normally hundreds of kHz, to get rid of the flicker noise. So the operation frequency of the interface stage is much higher than the base band frequency of the acceleration signal. The singlestage amplifier working at a single high modulat ion frequency is shown in Figure 5 2 (a), whose power is rewritten as ) / /(2 2 2 1 H H H H stageL W C f KG P ( 5 8 ) The equation is rewritten directly from (5. 7) with proper subscription. Typically, f3dB is designed to be close to fH. Thus the power consumption of the amplifier is directly proportional to the square of GBW Since the power of an amplifier is proportional to the quadratic value of its gain, it is beneficial to split a high overall gain t o two stages, as shown in Figure 5 2 (b). Assuming the gains of the two stages are G1 and G2, respectively, the power of this singlechopper dual stage architecture is given by ) / /(2 2 2 2 2 1 2 H H H H stageL W C f G G K P ( 5 9 )
79 where the two stages are assumed to have the same load and transistor size. Comparing the power consumption of these two architectures by considering the same overall gain, i.e., G1G2 = G2, we have G G G G P Pstage stage22 2 2 2 1 1 2 ( 5 10) The two stage amplifier achieves its minimum power consumption when the overall gain is equally split into the two stages, i.e., G1= G2 = G and the power in this case is reduced by a factor of G/2 compared to the singlestage architecture. The required overall gain of MEMS accelerometers is usually larger than 100, so the twostage architecture has significant advantage in terms of power over the singlestage amplifier for interfacing with MEMS accelerometers. Figure 5 2 C omparisons of different architectures: (a) singl e chopper singlestage, (b) singlech op per dual stage and (c) dual chopper dual stage amplifiers The amplifier working at high frequency has low noise floor due to the fli cker noise reduction. In a well designed twostage amplifier, the noise from the first stage G 1 G 2 (a) (b) (c)
80 dominates. Thus, it may be unnecessary to have the second stage still working at the same high frequency. That is the basic idea of the dual chopper amplifier (DCA), in which the overall gain is split into two stages and, at the same time, the two stages operate at different modulation frequencies, i.e., two chopping clocks [ 88] As shown in Figure 5 2 (c), the first stage operates at the high chopping frequency and a moderate gain while the second stage operates at the low chopping frequency with a larger gain. Thus the power of the DCA is written as: ) / /( ) / /(2 2 2 2 2 2 L L L L L H H H H H DCAL W C f G L W C f G K P ( 5 11) where GH and GL are the gains of the two stages, WL and LL are the width and the length of the input transistors of the s econd stage, and CL is the load capacitance of the second stage. In this DCA design, the high modulation frequency fH is chosen at 1MHz, higher than the noise corner frequency to minimize the flicker noise. Further increase on the modulation frequency may not have significant merit of noise reduction, but it has the cost of more power consumption. The low modulation frequency fL is much lower than fH to avoid aliasing. In this DCA design, fL is chosen to be 20kHz. According to ( 5 2 ), ( 5 5 ) and ( 5 9 ), high GH means high gain bandwidth of the first stage, and thus leads to low input noise, but the cost is significantly high power consumption. So there is a tradeoff between the noise and power. The criterion of optimization is to obtain the minimum value of the product of the total power and total input referred noise by choosing a proper GH. It can be derived as 0 ) (2 P v Gn H ( 5 12) By substituting ( 5 2 ), ( 5 5 ) and ( 5 .11) into ( 5 12), the optimized gain of the first stage for the 2stage dual chopper architecture is
81 G L W C f L W C f GL L H H H H L L opt H 2 / 1 2 / 1 _) / ( ) / ( 3 ( 5 13) where G is the overall gain. This result is based on the assumption that the noise from the second stage is comparable to that from the first stage when referred to the input node, which is usually the case. The power of the DCA after optimization of the high frequency gain is then stage H L stage H L H H L H L H optimal DCAP f f G P f f L W C C f Gf K P 1 2 _) / )( 3 / 10 ( ) / )( 3 / 5 ( ) / /( ) 3 / 10 ( ( 5 14) So the power consumption of the DCA is further reduced by a factor of ( 3fH/5fL), compared with the two stage architecture working at a single high frequency. It is a significant reduction considering fH>>fL. For the CMOS MEMS accelerometer reported in this paper, based on ( 5 13), after taking some practical factors into consideration and setting G =200, fH=1MHz, fL=20kHz, CL=4 CH, and (WH/LH)/(WL/LL) =5, the optimized highfrequency gain, GH, is about 10. 5.1.3 System D esign The architecture and the operational principle of the dual chopper amplifier (DCA) are shown in Figure 5 3 The sensed signal is amplified by two amplification stages and chopped by two fundamental clocks H and L to demodulate the signal back to the base band. The clock frequencies are fH and fL, respectively, and fH>>fL. A similar nest chopper archit ecture has been reported in [ 108] to reduce noise and DC offset. The modulation signals applied on the sensing capacitors are generated by chopping two DC references, and the switching signal M comes from XOR operation of two clocks, H and L, as shown in Figure 5 3 (b). The employed CMOS MEMS processing gives
82 the possibility to make two electrically isolated pairs of sensing capacitors for the fully differential amplifier, so that the noise from the modulation signal injects into the two input node equally and cancel each other. There are no switches between the sensing capacitors and the input transistors of the front end amplifier. This arrangement makes the kT/C noise from switches and the residual spikes during switching, which is an important noise source as mentioned in [ 108 ] to the common mode, so they do not play a significant role in this fully differential amplifier. Figure 5 3 The architecture and operation of the DCA system (a) System architecture. (b) Clock signal s in DCA. (c) Operation in frequency domain. The first stage A1 is an openloop amplifier with a gain of about 10. The openloop architecture is believed to have better noise performance because it suffers less from noise folding compared with transimpedance amplifiers and capacitive feedback amplifiers Following A1 are an AC coupling circuitry and buffers that remove the DC (a) (c) (b)
83 offset from A1. The capacitor Cac and the MOS bipolar device work as a highpass filter whose cutoff frequency is set at 2 kHz. The v alue of Cac is 4pF, which is realized with an onchip poly insulator poly capacitor. Then the signal is demodulated by fH for the first time to move the signal to the fL band. Followed is a GmC lowpass filter with a cut off frequency of 200 kHz, which fi lters the highfrequency harmonics and high frequency noises to reduce the noise folding in the next demodulation. Then the signal is amplified by the second amplification stage A2, which is a capacitivefeedback amplifier based on an OTA. Two MOS bipolar pseudoresistors, similar to the ones discussed in 5.1.1, are in series to provide high feedback impedance. Compared with the openloop amplifier A1, this closedloop amplifier A2 can provide a larger signal swing with good linear ity and increase the dynamic range of the system. Since the operating frequency of A2 is low, a relatively high gain can be allowed in A2 without adding too much power consumption. The offset tuning signals, Vos+ and Vos -, have the same frequency as L, and they are used to remove the offset due to the sensing capacitance mismatch. The signal amplified by A2 is then demodulated by L, and the buffered output is fed into an off chip lowpass filter to obtain the baseband signal. Fig ure 5 3 (c) shows the operation in frequency domain. The acceleration signal is modulated to the high modulation frequency, fH, so the signal is moved away from the large flicker noise frequency range. Flicker noise dominates in the signals baseband. Afte r the high frequency chopping, the flicker noise is moved to odd harmonics of fH, and then filtered by the GmC filter. The signal after A2 is chopped with L to demodulate the signal back to the baseband. Of course there is some power loss at
84 higher harmonics of fL during this procedure. Finally the off chip low pass filter removes all out of band signals and obtains the acceleration signal at the base band. 5.1.4 Temperature D ependence Reduction Another important consideration is the dependence of the performance on temperature variation. The output signal is written as L H m p s s s L H oG G V C C C v G G v 2 ( 5 15) So the temperature coefficient can be expressed as T G G T G G T V V T v vL L H H m m o o 1 1 1 ( 5 16) There are mainly three sources of the temperature dependence: the amplitude variation of the modulation signal applied to the sensing capacitors and the gain variations of the two amplification stages. The modulation signal is generated by chopping two DC reference voltages, so ideally the reference should be temperature insensitive. It is not a problem if the DC reference comes from a regulated power supply, but in that case the output signal will be sensitive to the fluctuation of the power line. In this design, a bandgap voltage reference is applied to generate the temperature independent reference voltage. The second stage i s based on capacitive feedback, so the effect of temperature is negligible. Since the first stage of the DCA is an openloop amplifier without feedback to clamp the gain, A1 is the major source of the temperature dependence. The first ver sion of the DCA r eported in [ 88] is affected much by temperature variation. The solution of the problem will be discussed in 5.1.5.
85 Figure 5 4 The s chematic of A1 with PMOS load. 5.1.5 Circuits Implementation The schematic of the first stage A1 is shown in Figure 5 4 M3 and M4 are cascaded with the input transistors to have good linearity. M7 a nd M8 draw the DC current from the load branch to increase the impedance of the diodeconnected load transistors to ensure a proper gain. In the early version, the load resistors are realized with two diodeconnected NMOS transistors and the gain of this stage is K I I g g Gm m H 5 1 5 5 1 1 5 1/ 2 / 2 / ( 5 17) where gm1 and gm5 are the transconductances of M1 and M5, I1 and I5 are their static currents, 1 and 5 are their carrier mobilities, effCox(W/L), and K is a constant related to transistor sizes. If M1, M2 and M5, M6 are of different types, their carrier
86 mobility mismatch will lead to a significant temperature dependence of GH, which is the cas e of the firs t version of the DCA design [ 88 ] In this DCA design, M5 and M6 have been changed from NMOS to PMOS, as shown in Figure 5 4 In this case the input and load transistors are of the same type, so the temperature dependences of the input and load transistors will cancel each other, making GH in ( 5 17) less sensitive to temperature variation. The second amplifier stage is a closedloop capacitiv e feedback amplifier based on an operational transconductance amplifier (OTA), whos e schematic is plotted in Figure 5 5 It is implemented with a fully differential foldedcascode architecture which has two transistors M7 and M8 working in the triode region to control the commonmode voltage level of the output signal. The input differential pair uses longchannel largewidth PMOS transistors to reduce the flicker noise corner frequency to around 20 kHz The openloop gain is designed to be 80 dB with the unity gain frequency at 20 MHz in order to maintain a good virtual ground at the input node. The low pass GmC filte r is schematically shown in Figure 5 6 Source degeneration is applied to the input transistors f or better linearity. Two diodeconnected transistors with very long channel length work as the load resistors to provide properly high resistance to achieve a cut off frequency of 200 kHz That cut off frequency is low enough to attenuate the high frequenc y noise after the first modulation and to keep the phase lagging introduced by this stage acceptable. The capacitor required in this application is 6 pF, which can be realized by onchip poly capacitors.
87 Figure 5 5 Schematic of the OTA of the second amplification stage. Figure 5 6 Schematic of the low pass Gm C filter.
88 5.2 Experimental R esults There are two batches of accelerometer designs included in this work. The earlier version has separate proof mass for the lateral axis and z axis detection for reducing the cross axis couplings The lateral axis di rection is based on the in plane movements of the proof mass that change the gaps of the sensing capacitors while the vertical axis detection is realized by the torsion of an imbalanced proof mass as discussed in [ 109, 110] The SEM photos of the whole chip an d the details of the comb fi ngers with isolation regions have been shown in Figure 32 and the det ails of the device parameters have been listed in Table 3 1 The interfac e circuitry has been fabricated together with a CMOS MEMS 3 axis accelerometer using TSMC 0.35 m 2P4M technology, followed by a post CMOS micromachining processing. The circuitry is not visible in Figure 3 2 because it is covered by a whole piece of Metal3 layer to avoid any circuit detriment during the micromachining processing The acceleration measurements are made on a LDS V 408 shaker that can generate a singletone sinusoidal acceleration. A SR 560 low noise amplifier with high input impedance and tunable filter is us ed to pick up the output signal, minimize the loading effect of other testing equipment and provide a proper low pass filtering. The cutoff frequency is 10 kHz. A PCB Piezotronics 356A16 reference accelerometer, whose sensitivity is 100mV/g, is mounted on the shaker to monitor the acceleration. The experiment setups are shown in Figure 5 7
89 Figure 5 7 Experiment setups for the accelerometer testing. Figure 5 8 The waveforms of the tested accelerometer and the reference to a 200 Hz 0.4g oscillation. Figure 5 8 shows the output signal of the tested accel erometer in response to a 200 Hz 0.4g oscillation in the lateral direction, compared to the signal from the reference Tested Accelerometer Reference Accelerometer
90 accelerometer. It indicates that the MEMS device and the interface circuitry both function correctly to track the acceleration signals. Figure 5 9 plots the dynamic responses of the three axes to 100Hz sinusoidal accelerations. The measured sensitivity of X Y and Z axis are 144mV/g, 139mV/g, and 23.3mV/g, respectively, as shown in Figure 5 9 The linear ranges of the lateral axes are both 11.5 g, and that of the z axis is as high as 29 g due to its smaller sensitivity. Figure 5 9 Dynamic re sponse of the threeaxis accelerometer to 1 00Hz acceleration. The spectra of the output signal of the the x axis and z axis in response to a 100Hz a cceleration are shown in Figure 5 10 The spectrum of the y axis is not shown bec ause it looks the same as that of x axis. The noise floors of X Y and Z axis are 40 40 and 130 respectively. Fitted curve: x axis: y=143.6x, R=1 y axis: y=139.1x, R=1 z axis: y=23.3x, R=1
91 Figure 5 10 Spectra of the accelerometer in response to a 100Hz acceleration: (a) x axis; and (b) z axis. The cross talks between the three axes are measured by monitoring the outputs of other two axes when the device is excited in a certain axis The results are shown in The Zaxis accelerometer is based on imbalanced torsional force in y axis, so it is sensitive to the acceleration in y axis especially when the spring constant is lower than the designed value due to processing imperfections. I t can be further reduced by better process control. The characteristics of the 3axis accelerometer are summarized in Table 5 2 The latest version of the threeaxis accelerometer is part of the fiveaxis IMU. The sensor design is improved by us ing vertical springs and symmetrical proof mass instead of torsional beams and imbalanced proof mass, to achieve better sensitivity and linearity. The proof mass of the z axis accelerometer is shared with the x/y axis devices to save area. The SEM photos of this threeaxis accelerometer have been shown in Figure 3 4 ( a ) Power line 40 g/ 0.5 ( b ) Power line 130 g / 1 g
92 Table 5 1 Cross axis couplings of the threeaxis accelerometer Affected directions X Y Z Movi ng directions X 1.7% 2.5% Y 0.5% 4.7% Z 1.8% 2.3% Table 5 2 Performance summary of the threeaxis accelerometer Axis X Y Z Sensitivity 144 mV/g 139 mV/g 23.3 mV/g Noise floor 40 g/ 40 g/ 130 g/ Linear range 11.5 g 11.5 g 29 g Modulation frequency 1 MHz 1 MHz 1 MHz Power (3.3 V) 1 mW 1 mW 1 mW The experimental results of the dynamic testing of the new threeaxis accelerometer are plotted in Figure 5 11. The accelerometer achieves the sensitivities of 191 mV/g for the x/y axis and 129 mV/g for the z axis, respectively, with the dynamic range of 5g for all axes. The sensitivity of the z axis accelerometer is increased by almost 4 times and is comparable with the lateral axes, while the gain from circuitry keeps the same. It helps to make the sensitivities of all three axes well balanced with no need of power consumption for providing extra gain.
93 Figure 5 11 Dynamic response of the threeaxis accelerometer with improved z axis design. Table 5 3 Performance summary of the accelerometer of the latest version. Axis X /Y Z Sensitivity 191 mV/g 129 mV/g Noise 50 80 Linear range (5% THD) g g Modulation frequency 1 MHz 1 MHz Resonant frequency 1.2 kHz 750 Hz Cross axis coupling 1.6% (from z) 1.4% (from X/Y) Power consumption 1 mW 1 mW
94 The performance of the accelerometer is summarized in Table 43. Due the symmetrical proof mass for z axis, the cross axis coupling from the lateral axis to the vertical axis has been reduced from 4.7% of the previous version to 1.4%. The accelerometer achieves the noise floors of 50 g/ for the x/y axis a nd 80 g/ for the z axis, respectively, and the noise consumption is 1 mW /axis. So low noise and low power is achieved simultaneously. Figure 5 12 Comparisons of this work to other work s in terms of noise and power 5.3 Discussions Figure 5 12 compares the noise and power consumption of this work with the previous work from other groups [ 52, 60] and some commercially available accelerometers [ 6 8 111, 112] Chae et al reported a 4 g/Hz resolution, but the device size is 7 9mm2 and the power consumption is over 12 mW per axis. Colibrys achieves 18 g/Hz at 2 mW but the package size is 14.2 14.2 mm2. The 45g/ Hz
95 resolution at only a 1mW power consumption and a 3 3mm2 die size (CMOS circuitry included) makes this work a very good balance between the noise, power and size.
96 6 CHAPTER 6 ELECTRONICS DESIGN FOR CMOS MEMS GYROSCOPES This chapter will discuss the system level design for CMOS MEMS gyroscopes. The operation of a gyroscope system includes both the primary mode, which is also called drive mode, and the secondary mode, which is also called sense mode. A novel differential difference fr ont end amplifier for the sense mode with high gain and low temperature dependence is discussed first. Then the system level design for both modes is shown, followed by the transistor level implementation and the experimental results. 6.1 Front End Differenti al Difference Amplifier 6.1.1 Design TradeO ffs The Coriolis acceleration is much smaller than the linear acceleration detected by accelerometers. Assuming a gyroscope with the primary mode resonant frequency of 5 kHz and the oscillation amplitude of 2 m, which are both of typical value, then the peak velocity of the pr oof mass in the primary mode is 6.28102 m/s, according to the equation: dt dx v / Thus the peak Coriolis acceleration corresponding to a 1/s rotation is approximately 100 g Due t o the limit of processing, both the sensing capacitance and the mechanical sensitivity of CMOS MEMS gyroscopes are relatively low compared to the hybrid solutions, which makes the signal detection even more challenging. So the architecture of the front end is very important for the sensors performance. The front end circuitry for the drive mode displacement has much looser requirement on the noise performance than that for the Coriolis signal, because the displacement in the primary
97 mode is 2 to 3 orders l arger than that induced by Coriolis acceleration. So in th is section, the discussion will focus on the front end amplifier for the Coriolis signal detection. The interface between a capacitive sensor and various front end architectures is described with a uni versal model, as shown in Figure 6 1 The front end A1 has the gain of G1, and the following stages are represented by A2. The Coriolis signal is modeled as a voltage source vs, which satisfies p s s sV C C v ) / (0 ( 6 1 ) where Vp is the reference voltage, and Cs0 and s are the sensing capacitance and its change due to Coriolis acceleration, respectively. The input referred noise from the front end is 1 nv and the noise from t he following stages is lumped as 2 nv The signal to noise ratio (SNR) is then written as: 2 1 2 2 2 1 2/ G v v v SNRn n s ( 6 2 ) Fi gure 6 1 The model of the front end amplifiers with lumped following stages Accor ding to ( 6 2 ) the gain of the front end must be high enough, or the signal to noise ratio ( SNR) w ill be degraded significantly as the signal passes the following sv 0 sC 0 sC 1 nv 2 nv A2
98 stages It is not a serious issue for the twochip solutions, because the sensing capacitance of the sensors is relatively large in those cases. For CMOS MEMS inertial sensors, however, it becomes challenging because the sensing capacitance is small and any circuit that has its gain dependent on the sensing capacitance will have the gain much lower than the twochip solutions. The currently available architectures are analyzed in the following paragraphs. The commonly used front end architectures and their gain are shown in Figure 6 2 The openloop amplifiers and TIAs are able to achieve high gain. However, since their gains are determined by the resis tive load or the feedback resistors, which are temperaturesensitive, they suffer from large temperature dependence. In the openloop architecture, the gainto drain capacitance of the input transistors contributes more to the parasitic capacitance as the gain is increased, because of the miller effect, so the signal is attenuated. The miller effect can be reduced by adding cascode transistors to the l oad, as shown in Figure 5 4 with the cost of limited signal swing. Another drawback of the openloop amplifier is the low power supply reject ratio (PSRR). Even though the fully differential configuration is theoretically immune to the noise from power supply, the power supply affects the output if there is any mismatch in the circuit s. The transfer function of the TIA requires high resistance and very low capacitance as the feedback impedance, which are both hard to implement. The high resistance can be realized with long transistors, but the costs are smaller linear range and more co mplicated circuits. Switched capacitor (SC) amplifiers and CSAs provide low impedance interface to the sensor, and they are insensitive to parasitic capacitance. They are also much less sensitive to temperature variation as well. However, the gains of both SC amplifiers and
99 CSAs are set by the ratio of the sensing capacitance over the feedback capacitance. The sensing capacitance of CMOS MEMS gyroscopes is small, typically in the order of 100 fF which is comparable or even smaller than the available onchi p capacitance, so their gains are small. Therefore, more following amplification stages are needed to achieve the required gain, which may increase the circuit complexity and/or power consumption. In addition, the discretetime SC circuits are immune to th e leakage current from the sensor, but they suffer from noise folding during sampling, which degrades the signal to noise ratio (SNR). Moreover, there exists another issue. The impedance of the resistive feedback in the CSA is required to be much larger than that of the capacitive feedback, which is in the order of 1010 for dc detection, in order to meet the transfer function characteristics and to reduce its noise contribution. The large resistance can be implemented with a transistor working in linear region [16, 18], but it requires extra bias circuits and fine tuning, and the signal swing is relatively small. S witching techniques can provide large equivalent resistance , but significant kT/C noise will be added into the front end amplifier The requirement can be mitigated by increasing the feedback capacitance or using ac detection, but increasing the feedback capacitance will reduce the gain and the SNR. Using ac detection can lower the electronic noise and mitigate the stringent requirement on the passive components, but the added modulation/ demodulation complicates the circuits, and the power consumption is increased much due to the increased gain bandwidth product Furthermore, unlike the dc detection, any static mismatch of the sensing capacitance will be detected by the ac detection, whose amplitude may be significant compared with the capacitance change caused by the Coriolis force.
100 Figure 6 2 Comparisons of the available architectures: (a) openloop amplifier; (b) TIA; (c) CSA; and (d) SC circuits. vs is given in ( 6 1 ) 6.1.2 Differential Difference Amplifier In order to accommodate CMOS MEMS gyroscopes working at atmosphere, a differential difference amplifier (DDA) is designed and is analyzed in the following sections which allows continuous time dc detection so that the immunity to capacitance p s L m s s outC C R g Cv v 0 02 fb s s outR C j v v0 fb s s outC C v v0 fb s s outC C v v0 ( ( ( ( fb fbC R1 fb fbC R1 (a) (b) (c) (d)
101 mismatch and low power consumption can be achieved without sacrificing noise performance. Differential difference amplifiers (DDAs) have two pairs of differential inputs and one pair of differential outputs, and they are commonly used in instrumentation amplifiers, voltagecontrolled current sources, comparators, etc . A DDA is schemed in Figure 6 3 (a), and its connection to the sensing capacitances of the gyroscope is shown in Figure 6 3 (b) The input nodes are biased with a MOS bipolar pseudo resistor , which is implemented with a PMOS transistor with its gate and drain connected to the DC bias voltage and its bulk and source connected to the sens ing nodes and the input nodes of the pre amplifier. An AC impedance up to 1011 can be realized with this pseudo resistor, which is at least 10 times higher than the impedance of the capacitances of the sensing capacitor and the input transistors to avoid significant signal attenuation. The time constant of the input RC network is controlled within 0.1s. With the input signal applied between one pair of inputs and with feedback applied differentially between the other pair of inputs, the DDA is the fully differential equivalent of a singleended noninverting amplifier. Because of the highimpedance input, Cs0 is no longer important to the front end gain, but the gain can be set by a capacitive ratio. PMOS transistors are used as the input pairs for their lower flicker noise than NMOS. Transistors M1a, M1b, M1c, and M1d compose two differential input pairs, corresponding to vin1+, vin1-, vin2+, and vin2-, respectively. The drains of M1a and M1c, and M1b and M1d are re spectively shorted and fed to the low impedance nodes of the cascaded NMOS pairs M5a and M5b. The DDA satisfies the following equation: out in m in m in m in m out out R v g v g v g v g v v ) (2 4 1 3 2 2 1 1 ( 6 3 )
102 F igure 6 3 The schematic of the DDA and its interface to the sensing capacitors (a) S chematic of the DDA; and (b) the interface with the sensing capacitors where gm1,2,3, represent the transcoductance of the four input transistors and Rout represents the output impedance of the amplifier. In this design all the input transistors are of the same size, so ( 6 3 ) can be reduced to (a) (b)
103 out m in in in in out outR g v v v v v v ) (2 1 2 1 ( 6 4 ) A capacitive negative feedback loop is formed once vin1+ and voutare connected through a feedback capacitor Cfb1, and vin2-, vout+, and Cfb2 form another capacitive negative feedback loop. A MOS bipolar pseudo resistor is in parallel with each Cfb to provide the DC path with large AC impedance. Cfix is connected to the feedback capacitance and the analog ground to define the gain of the DDA. Due to the high loop gain of the negative feedback loop, there exists the following equations: 2 1 2 1 in in in inv v v v ( 6 5 ) The output of the DDA is then determined by the noninv erting feedback, as shown in (6 6) 1) / 1 (in fb fix outv C C v ( 6 6 ) Combining ( 6 5 ) and ( 6 6 ) leads to ) ( ) / 1 (1 2 in in fb fix out outv v C C v v ( 6 7 ) The two inner input nodes, vin1and vin2+, are connected to the Coriolis sensing capacitances, and another two MOS bipolar pseudo resistors are used to provide the proper DC bias at the sensing input nodes. Considering the parasitic capacitance Cp due to the gateto source capacitance of the input transistors and the stray capacitanc e from the interconnections, the differential input signal can be written as: P p s s in inV C C C v v 0 2 12 2 ( 6 8 ) where Cs0 is the Coriolis sensing capacitance, Cp is the parasitic capacitance from the inter connection and the input transistors, s is the change of Cs due to the Coriolis
104 acceleration, and VP is the polar voltage applied on Cs. By substituting ( 6 5 ) and ( 6 8 ) into ( 6 6 ) the output of the DDA can thus be derived as fb p s fb fix s s P fb p s fb fix s out outC C C C C C v V C C C C C C v v ) 2 ( ) ( 2 ) 2 ( ) ( 20 0 0 ( 6 9 ) Compared with the TCA whose output is sVp/Cfb, the gain is boosted by a factor of 2(Cfix+Cfb)/(2Cs0+Cp) It is a significant factor, considering the value of Cs and Cp are in the order of 100fF and Cfix and Cfb is on chip poly poly capacitors that can easily achieve the capacitance of several pF. To make the comparison more straightforward, a term of equivalent feedback capacitance (EFC) is defined as ) ( 2 / ) 2 (0 fb fix fb p sC C C C C EFC ( 6 10) It represents the required feedback capacitance in the TCA to achieve the same gain as that by the DDA. In this design, Cfix and Cfb are 1.5 pF and 90 fF respectively, and ( 2Cs0+Cp) is approximately equal to 150 fF so the equivalent TCA capacitance is 4 fF Furthermore, since the gain of the DDA is based on the capacitance ratio, it is inherently independent on temperature. Therefore, the boosted gain and low temperature dependence are realized simultaneously with the DDA 6.1.3 Noise Analysis At the resonant frequency of the CMOS MEMS gyroscope, the flicker noise is the dominant noise source, whose power density for a MOS transistor can be approximately given by ( 6 11) f WL C K vox f nf 2 ( 6 11)
105 where Kf is a constant, Cox is the gate capacitance density of the MOS transistors, and W and L are the width and length of t he transistors, respectively. It is revealed by ( 6 11) that larger transistor size reduces the flicker noise. However, like the case of openloop amplifiers, the gate capacitance contributes to the parasitic parameters as well, wh ich will degrade the C oriolis signal. According to ( 6 9 ) and ( 6 11) there should be an optimal transistor size for the best SNR. The optimal width can be derived by letting 0 W SNR ( 6 12) By solving ( 6 12) we can obtain that the optimal transistor size satisfies the following equation 2 3 2 0 p s ox gsC C WL C C ( 6 13) where Cgs is the gateto source capacitance of the input transistor, and Cp is the parasitic capacitance other than Cgs, which can be caused by the interconnection between the front end and the sensor. In order to evaluate the noise performance of the DDA, the optimized SNR of DDA is plotted with respect to the sensing capacitance and is compared wi th other architectures in Figure 6 4 In order to simplif y the analysis, it is assumed that vn1= vn2, and Cf=2 pF which are the typical values from literatures [16, 24]. The transistor sizes of all architectures are optimized for the best noise performance.
106 Figure 6 4 The optimized SNR of DDA, c ompared to TIA, CSA, openloop amplifier, unity gain buffer, and SC circuits. 6.1.4 Considerations of Quadrature Error and Leakage The quadrature error, which comes from the crossaxis coupling from the drive mode to the sense mode, is an important issue that needs to be addressed. The quadrature error signal has a 90 phase difference relative to the Coriolis signal, so it can be removed by synchronous demodulation with the driving signal as the demodulation signal. However, the amplitude of the drive mode oscil lation is in the order of while the Coriolis motion amplitude is only in the order of sub nm Thus, even with a 0.1% cross axis coupling, the induced quadrature signal may overwhelm the Coriolis signal, which results in dynamic range deduction, or in the extreme case of a highg ain system as discussed in this paper, the saturation of the interface circuits. M echanical decoupling is often incorporated in the sensor structural design to minimize the crossCMOS MEMS
107 axis coupling [25, 26]. In this design, the overdrive voltage of the input tr ansistors of DDA is chosen conservatively large (~100 mV) to tolerate the quadrature error and to improve the linearity as well. Leakage current is another issue that needs to be addressed for the circuits with high input impedance. The CMOS MEMS process allows fully differential configuration of the sensing capacitance, as shown in Figure 6 3 (b) and Vbias is chosen as 1/2 of Vp for a balanced bias to reduce the leakage current. Due to the capacitive feedback of the DDA, any DC o ffset caused by leakage current will retain at the output without any amplification and it will not be taken by the following gain stages based on capacitive feedback T herefore, the drift caused by the leakage will be small. 6.2 System Level D esign The system for the gyroscope comprised of two subdivisions : the self oscillation loop for the drive mode and the readout and processing circuitry for the sense mode. The system works in continuous time to avoid the noise folding existing in the discretetime sampli ng. The block diagram of the system is schemed in Figure 6 5 I n the self oscillation loop, a transresistance amplifier (TRA) is employed as the front end to detect the drive mode displacement s of the proof mass. There are two re asons for doing so. Firstly, the transresistance amplifier and the sensing capacitance of the sensor comprise a differentiator, which generates 90 phase change to the incoming signal, so the extra phase delay caused by the mechanical structure at the resonant frequency is compensated and the requirements on phase is satisfied to start an oscillation Secondly, the impedance of the tran sresistance can be tuned by its gate voltage, in order to achieve a controllable gain of this stage. The TRA is implemented with the fully differential configuration to reject the commonmode noise. The s ignal out
108 of the TRA is further amplified with two more amplifi cation stages before being fed back to the driving electrodes of the sensor to close the loop. Since the CMOS M EMS gyroscopes are designed to work in atmosphere, the quality factor of the mechanical structure is limited by the damping of air at around 100. Therefore, t he amplitude of the drive signal is expected as large as possible for better sensitivity. In order to handle the driving signal with large amplitude, railto rail output is desired on the amplifier that interfaces with the driving electrodes directly The amplitude of the driving signal is controlled by an automatic gain control (AGC) loop, in which the signal amplitude obtained by an off chip RMS DC converter is compared with the reference voltage, and the difference filtered by the loop filter is used to control the gate voltage of the TRA. Figure 6 5 System design of the electronics for MEMS gyroscopes The Coriolis signal is sensed and amplified with openloop architecture. The openloop here means that the signal is amplified directly for the next processing
109 without force feedback to the electrodes. The front end for the sense mode is a differential difference amplifier (DDA) that combines the advantages of the low noise of the openloop amplifier and the temperaturedependent gain of the transcapacitance amplifier, a nd the details will be discussed in the following sections. The signal from the front end is amplified by a capacitivefeedback amplifier to the desired level. The information of the rotary rate is modulated to the frequency of the primary resonator, so a chopper demodulator and a low pass filter are placed to get the signal of the rotation. Since the velocity of the primary resonator is in phase with the driving signal, so does the Coriolis signal. The driving signal is used as the demodulation clock to phase out the quadrature error to get the rotation rate. The phase issue inside the loop is the most important factor for the system level design. The driving signal is assumed as ) sin(0 t V V d and the phase delay of the electronics in the drive mode and in the sense mode is d and s, respectively. The Coriolis signal is then ) sin(s d c coriolis t K V ( 6 14) and the quadrature error is ) cos(s d q quadraturet K V ( 6 15) where Kc and Kq are the constant s representing the scale factor of the sense mode. Since the s ense mode signal is demodulated with the drive signal. The Coriolis signal and the quadrature signal after demodulation are )) 2 cos( ) (cos( 2 1 ) sin( ) sin( '0 0 s d s d c s d c coriolist V K t t V K V ( 6 16)
110 and )) 2 sin( ) (sin( 2 1 ) sin( ) cos( '0 0 s d s d c s d q quadraturet V K t t V K V ( 6 17) respectively. After the low pass filter, the rotation rate and the zerorate output due to the quadrature error are ) cos( 2 10 s d c rotV K V ( 6 18) and ) sin( 2 1 0 s d c zroV K V ( 6 19) respectively. Due to the phase delay of the electronics, the quadrature error is leaked into the signal rotation rate. And because the coupled movement is much larger than that due to the Coriolis acceleration in amplitude, the significant zerorate output will limit the dynamic range of the system, or even more seriously, saturate the amplifier and prevent the sys tem from functioning properly. In this work, the total phase delay of both the drive mode and the sense mode is controlled within 1. 6.3 Circuits Implementation In this section, the details of the implementation of the circuitry for both the drive mode and sense mode are discussed. The details of the DDA are not included in this section because they have been discussed in 6.1. The issues considered during the design process are also described.
111 6.3.1 Driving Circuits 18.104.22.168 Front end amplifier Figure 6 6 The TRA design and the interface to the sensor ; (a) the configuration, (b) the schematic of the core amplifier The first stage of driving circuits is important, because it not only connects to t he sensing capacitor, but works as both VGA and differentiator. A1 is an operational transconductance amplifier (OTA) base on the foldedcascode topology. The simplified schematic of the core amplifier is shown in F igure 66 where the circuits for bias and common mode feedback are not shown. In the following paragraphs, design considerations that determine the circuit parameters will be discussed in details. Recalled from ( 4 25) taneff G GBW In our application, the resonant frequency of the gyroscope is 510 kHz To make the phase delay after amplification within 0.3, GBW needs to be at least 1.8 MHz assuming =10 kHz and Geff=1.
112 With regards to the amplifier, the gainbandwidth satisfies the following equation, L m L out out mC g C R R g GBW1 1 ( 6 20) where gm1 is defined as the transconductance of input differential pair, while CL as the load c a pacitance. And the DC gain is ) // (11 9 9 5 7 7 1 1 ds ds m ds ds m m out m openr r g r r g g R g G ( 6 21) D oI r1 ( 6 22) T gs D od D mV V I v I g 2 2 ( 6 23) From (6 21 ) and (623 ) 7 1 7 2 12od od D D openV V I I G ( 6 24) The size of the input differential pair is calculated based on (6 25). 2) ( /T gs ox eff DV V C I L W ( 6 25) (6 25) determine s the ratio, but not the actual size of the input differential pairs. DC offset is another issue that has to be considered, which comes from the parameter mismatch of the transistors. Although A1 is a transimpedance amplifier that amplifies AC signals only the input referred DC offset is still passed to output, which will affect the next stage. So the length of i n put transistors is set to be 2 m instead of minimum length. The same measure applies on the current mirrors such as M4, M5, M10 and M11. As reg ard the other transistors, since it will not introduce DC offset and large transistor size will decrease the frequency of nondominant pole and do harms to stability, their length is the minimum value.
113 22.214.171.124 Low offset amplifier The second amplifier stage, A2, whose schematic is drawn in Figure 6 7 works to amplify the si g nal to the medium level and cancel the DC offset. The gain of this stage is determined by the ratio of resistors, namely, Ro/Ri. The input transistors work as voltage followers to pass the i n put AC signal across Ri and convert differential voltage to current difference. The current differ ence of M2b and M2c is mirrored to the load resistor Ro and converted back to voltage. The key parameter of this stage is the DC curr ent of each branch. There is a tradeoff between power consumption and chip area, since the amplitude of output signal is load out outR i v ( 6 26) So less power consumption means larger resistor, and then larger area. One drawback of huge l oad resistance is that the device mismatch may result in significant dc offset at the output nodes, so that the automatic offset cancellation technology has been applied. To eliminate the effects of dc offset, an auxiliary amplifier with ultralow gain bandwidth and a replica of A2 are added in, as shown in Figure 6 7 (b) and (c). The replica of the main amplifier does not have the output stage. The auxiliary amplifier and the replica amplifier contribute to make a negative feedbac k with A2, in which the gain is derived as ) ( ) ( 1 ) ( ) (2s G s G s G s Greplica aux ( 6 27) where G2, Gaux, and Greplica are the openloop gain of A2, the auxiliary amplifier and the replica amplifier, respectively. The goal of the design is reducing the DC gain as much as possible while keep the AC gain, therefore, the gainbandwidth of the auxiliary
114 amplifier is very narrow. In this case, it can be observed that G at DC and G 2 at high frequency. The gainbandwidth of the auxiliary amplifier is designed to be around 50 Hz. Figure 6 7 Low offset amplifier of the second amplification stage of the driving circuits ; (a) The core amplifier, (b) the replica amplifier, and (c) the auxiliary amplifier 126.96.36.199 Driving stage The third stage amplifies the signal to expected amplitude, 2 V in our case, and drives the electrodes of sensor. In this wor k, it is realized with a two stage opamp with From replica From replica To replica (b) ( c ) ( a )
115 noninverting configurations based on resistive feedback to get high input impedance. The configuration of the driving stage and the schematic of the core amplifier are drawn in Figure 6 8 Figure 6 8 Schematic of t he third stage of the driving circuits ; (a) noninverting configuration, (b) schematic of the core amplifier 6.3.2 Other Coriolis Sensing Circuits The circuits for the detection of the Coriolis signal comprise of two stages of amplifiers, of which the first stage is a low noise low temperaturedependence DDA as discussed at the beginning of this chapter and the second stage is an OTA with capac itive fe edback to set its gain with diode connected PMOS as the DC path. The advantages of the capacitive feedback are the low noise and the low DC offset, compared to the resistive feedback. The configuration and the schematic of the core amplifier are shown in Figure 6 9 The core amplifier of this stage is a fully differential OTA with foldedcascode architecture with commonmode feedback to maintain the DC level. (a) ( b )
116 Figure 6 9 Schematic of the second stage of the sensing circuits; (a) configuration of the capacitive feedback; (b) schematic of the core amplifier 6.3.3 Layout The chip is fabricated with the Vanguard 0.35 m 2P4M technology. The layout of the whole chip is shown in Figure 6 10. The die size is 5 5 mm2, and it contains three devices, a threeaxis accelerometer, a z axis gyroscope, and an x/y axis gyroscope. The accelerometer is the improved versions mentioned in Chapter 3, wi th good sensitivity and linearity in the z axis. The electronics sit beside the devices and are covered all over by metal3 layer to be protected in the post CMOS micromachining process. T he big pieces of metal3 layer are slotted properly, with 30 m interv al, to reduce the stress during the CMOS processing. A replica of the interface circuits is implemented with for self test purpose. (a) (b)
117 Figure 6 10 Layout of the whole IMU chip 6.4 E xperimental Results The experimental results of the CMOS MEMS gyroscope system s will be discussed in this section. The experiments include two parts: the characterizations of the circuits without the MEMS sensors and the testing of the whole system. In thi s chapter, details of the testing of the circuits and the preliminary results of the system will be discussed. 6.4.1 Coriolis Sensing Circuits The sensing circuit was tested on breadboard, and the testing environment is schemed in Fig ure 6 11. Due to the high gain of the Coriolis sensing circuits, it is hard to generate an input signal with sufficient small amplitude directly with function generators. In order to get a small amplitude differential signal, two inphase AC signals with
118 identical DC level of 2.5V, are generated by function generator, so the actual differential signal can be tuned, by 0.1mV resolution, through sweeping the amplitude of one channel while keeping the other channel fixed. Table 6 1 a nd Table 6 2 list the equipments for testing and the experiment conditions. Figure 6 11 Testing setup for the C oriolis signal sensing c ircuits To determine the gain of the circuits, the amplitude of the input signal one channel is fixed at 30 mV and the other channel has amplitude swept from 26.5mV to 34 mV, both at frequency of 10 kHz. The 30 mV ac signal simulates the possible quadrature error and dir ectly coupling, so the performance of the circuits with the presence of large couplings is verified as well with this method. The differential signal is swept then from 3.5mV to 4mV, to remove the possible drifting from the function generator and the amplitude of the output signal is regarded negative in the curve. The results are plotted in Figure 6 12, compared with an ideal linear curve fitted from experimental data, which shows the gain of the sensing circuit is 415, with m aximum nonlinearity of 5%. The signal swing is 2.76 Vpp.
119 Table 6 1 List of equipments used for the testing of the sensing circuits Equipment Application HP E3631A DC power supply Tektronix AFG3102 Dual channel function generator Tektronix TDS 2014 Oscilloscope SRS SR560 Low noise amplifier Keithley 225 DC Current source HP 8561E Spectrum Analyzer SRS SR780 Network signal analyzer Table 6 2 Experimental conditions for the sensing circuits Power supply 5V Bias current Common mode voltage 2.5V Amplitude of AC signal from channel 1 30mV Amplitude of AC signal from channel 2 variable The transfer function of the whole Coriolis sensing circuits is measured with the SRS 780 signal analyzer, and the phase response is shown in Figure 6 13. It can be observed that the phase delay of the whole sensing circuits is 0.98 at 10 kHz so less than 1 phase delay is achieved at the operating frequencies of the MEMS gyroscopes in this design, which a re 2.1 kHz for the z axis and 4.2 kHz respectively.
120 Figure 6 12 Output signal of the sensing circuits vs. input signal in amplitude Figure 6 13 Transfer function (phase) of the sensing c ircuits at 1 kHz 100 kHz
121 Figure 6 14 Noise spectrum of the sensing c ircuit s. The input referred spectrum is plotted in Figure 6 14. The spectrum shows a frequency dependence, which means the main noise source is the flicker noise and t he noise floor at 2 kHz is 150 nV/ The dynamic range of the sensing circuits can be calculated as (6 28) shows, assuming 10 Hz bandwidth. dB BandWidth NoiseFloor put MaximumOut DR 82 ( 6 28) The gain drifting with temperature is measured from 24C to 104C. The gain varies from 400 to 396 when temperature is increased from 24C to 104C, so the temperature sensitivity is 125ppm/C. The Coriolis sensing circuit gives good stability over temperature variation, since feedback is applied to both stages, which means the gain of the circuits is set by capacitance ratio, instead of transistor parameters. And the performance of the sensing circuit is summarized in Table 6 3 150nV/ @ 2kHz
122 Table 6 3 Performance summary of the sensing circuits for gy roscopes Item Value Gain 415 Maximum Nonlinearity 5% Signal Swing 2.76V (peak to peak) Dynamic Range 82 dB Offset 20 mV Input referred noise 150 nV/ Flicker Noise Corner Frequency 74 kHz Gain drifting 125 ppm/C 6.4.2 Drivi ng Circuits The block of driving circuit has three functions: amplification, phase shifting, and automatic gain control. The realization of automatic gain control needs a peak detector, a variablegain amplifier, and a loop filter. The first stage of the driving circuit is a transimpedance amplifier that works to converter the current signal from capacitor to voltage while keeping the voltage at the sensing node at virtual ground. After conversion, the output signal has 90 phase shift with respect to the i nput signal. And also, the voltage on gate controls the impedance of the feedback transistor, which determines the gain that stage. The testing setup for characterization of the first stage of driving circuit is drawn in Figure 6 15 Two 4 pF capacitors are put in the place of the capacitance of the sensor. The gain of the stage is G= RC, where C= 4 pF, and =2 10 kHz The impedance of the transistor can be calculated from the gain. An optional Tnetwork can boost the
123 transimpedance by a factor of ( 1+R2/R1), where R1 is a 100 onchip resistor and R2 is external. During testing, R2 i s not connected into the configuration. Figure 6 16 plots the relationship between the impedance and control voltage applied on gate. It can be observed that the impedance is increased by a factor of 4, from 1.8 to 6.9 when control voltage tuned from 0 to 1.3 V. Figure 617 plots the curve of peak to peak amplitude of differential output signal of the TRA in response to input signal. The amplifier shows better linearity when the out put amplitude is less than 1 V which corresponds to 0.25V fluctuation of the drainto source voltage of each transimpedance transistor It is normal because the impedance is realized with a long transistor in linear ran ge, which works as a resistor when its drain to source voltage is small and has more significant nonlinearity as that voltage gets larger. Since the gain of the following two stages is more than 10, thus the amplitude of the output is less than 0.5 V at steady state after the oscillation has been excited. It can be observed that the TRA stage has good linearity in this range. Figure 6 18 plots the curve to show the amplitude of the output of the whole driving circuits in response to the input. The signal swing of the output differential signal is up to 4.6V, with the maximum nonlinearity of 5% so the large signal swing is achieved with the twostage op amp and noninverting resistive configuration. The low offset intermediate amplifier functions properly to prevent the driving stage from being saturated by the offset of the previous stage.
124 Figure 6 15 T est ing setup for the TRA Figure 6 16 The transresistance of the TRA vs. the gate voltage. R R1 R 2 = 100 k R1 4pF 4pF R 2 = 100 k
125 Figure 6 17 Differential output of the TRA vs. input in terms of peak to peak amplitude. Figure 6 18 O utput of the whole driving circuits vs. the input in amplitude.
126 The influence of temperature is characterized through gain drifting of the whole driving circuit with resp ect to temperature variation, as shown in Figure 6 19. As temperature is increased from 24C to 104C, the overall gain decreased from 8.08 to 7.04, a 12.9% change. The temperature dependence is because of the gain set by feedback resistance in TRA. In the driving circuits, the drifting is not a big issue, because the AGC can tune the gain to achieve certain amplitude automatically. Figure 6 19 Overall g ain of the driving amplifiers vs. temperature. The performance of the TIA based circuits in the drive mode is summarized in Table 6 4 1.86.9 M tunable impedance is achieved. The gain of the whole circuits is sensitive to temper ature due to the transimpedance realized with MOS transistors, but the drifting can be compensated by the automatic gain control so it will not generate any drifting on the oscillation amplitude in the drive mode.
127 Table 6 4 Performance summary of the driving circuits for gyroscopes Item Value Tunable Impedance 1.8 6.9 Maximum Nonlinearity 5% Phase shift (10 kHz ) 88.6 Signal swing 4.6 V (peak to peak) Gain drifting 1600 ppm/C 6.4.3 System Characterization The electronics have been integrated with the MEMS gyroscopes on a 5 5 mm2 chip with the Vanguard 0.35 m te chnology. The released z axis and x/y axis gyroscopes have been shown in Figure 3 5 and Figure 3 6 The system of the z axis gyroscope with all the electronics is characterized first. Figure 6 20 shows the waveform of the driving signal after the self oscillation loop is closed. It can be observed that a stable oscillation is started up successfully within 120 ms The functionality of the electronics for the drive mode is verified. Since the onchip high voltage is unavailable, the amplitude of the driving signal should be as large as possible to increase the sensitivity of the system. Therefore, the control voltage is raised to make the driving signal saturated for the largest amp litude. The chip with released devices is mounted on a pendulum for the dynamic response testing, and a reference accelerometer is mounted as a reference for calculating the rotation rate, as shown in Figure 6 21. Figure 6 22 shows the spectrum of the z axis gyroscope under an 8 /s rotation, so the sensitivity is estimated as 1.2 mV/ /s and the noise floor is 0.050 /s/ Hz
128 Figure 6 20 Waveform of the start up of the self oscillation Figure 6 21 The setup of the pendulum for the dynamic testing of the z axis gyroscope. Figur e 6 23 compares the baseband rotation signal out of the z axis gyroscope and the radius acceleration signal measured by the reference accelerometer. The frequency of the signal from the gyroscope is half of that of the accelerometer as expected, because the radius acceleration does not tell the rotary direction while the rotation rate does Therefore, the signal detected by the gyroscope is the real Coriolis
129 signal instead of interference from the linear acceleration, and the functionality of the system i s verified. Similarly, the functional ity of the x/y axis gyroscope has been verified. The spectrum of the output signal of its sensing circuits in response to an 8 /s rotation is shown in Figure 6 24. Its sensitivity is estimate d as 1.3 mV/ /s and the noise floor is 0.046 /s/ Hz The performance of the DDAbased electronics and that of the two gyroscope system s are summarized in Table 6 5 and Table 6 6 Figure 6 22 Spectrum of the output of Z axis under 8/s rotation
130 Figure 6 23 Output of the rotation rate of a pendulum compared with a reference accelerometer Figure 6 24 Spectrum of the output of X/Y axis under 8/s rotation
131 Table 6 5 Performa nce summary of the DDAbased electronics for gyroscopes. Circuits Gain 24 dB (DDA) 52 dB (overall) Sensitivity drift 0.01%/C Power 5V, 750 W (DDA), 4.25 mW (overall) Noise (input) 150 nV/ @ 2 kHz Dynamic range 83 dB (10 Hz Bandwidth) Equivalent TCA capacitance 4 fF Table 6 6 Performance of the z axis and the x/y axis gyroscopes Gyroscope z axis x/y axis Noise floor 0.050/s/ 0.046/s/ Sensitivity 1.2mV//s 1.3mV//s Drive mode 4.2 kHz 2 .1 kHz Sense mode 5.12 kHz 3.05 kHz 6.5 Discussions Figure 6 25 compares the power and the noise floor in terms of zF/ Hz which represents the resolution of capacitive change, with other works that have this parameter available [ 40 48, 86] Finer capacitive resolution means lower noise floor when the sensors have the same mechanical sensitivities. It can be found from the figure that this work achieves the finest capacitive resolution with the lowest power
132 consumption. That means the DDA based sensing electronics achieves low power and low noise simultaneously. Figure 6 25 Comparisons of the power and noise in terms of zF/ However, when the noise floor is represented in terms of /s/ Hz [ 40, 48, 113, 114] which meas ures the resolution for the real mechanical signals, this work still achieves low power consumption, but the noise floor is relatively high, as shown in Figure 6 26 That is because the mechanical sensitivity of the sensor in this work is low, so the same mechanical rotation induces less capacitive change in this work than other sensors. Those sensors with vacuum packaging are not counted into the comparisons due to their inherently high sensitivity and low bandwidth. The most important reason of this phenomenon is the lack of onchip high voltage, so the amplitude of the movements in the drive mode is relatively low. Due to the ESD diodes on the IO pads, the high
133 voltage cannot be applied externally. With 15 V onchip voltage, less than 0.01 /s/ Hz noise floor is achievable, and the design of the charge pump is discussed in Chapter 7. Figure 6 26 C omparisons of power and noise floor in /s/ Hz
134 7 CHAPTER 7 IMPROVEMENTS ON THE GYROSCOPE S YSTEM In this chapter, the improvements made on the current gyroscope system are introduced, which include both circuitry implementation and system level improvements. Specifically, a charge pump is designed for high voltag e generation, a ripplefree fast settling peak detector is designed for better integration capabilities, and a quadrature error cancellation loop is proposed, the first two of which have been verified by experimentally, while the third of which has been verified with simulation. 7.1 High OnChip Voltage Generation It is discussed in Chapter 2 that high onchip voltage is desired, because it can increase the mechanical sensitivity and the strength of the signal f ed into the interface circuits. The high voltage c an be generated with charge pumps, which pump the charge from low voltage to high level through a cascade of diodes by switching capacitors between the diodes In this design, A Dickson charge pump is chosen for the high voltage generation for its advantage of good compatibility with the standard CMOS technologies In this section, the operations of the Dickson charge pump is introduced, and the implementation and the experimental results are shown to verify the design. 7.1.1 Dickson Charge Pump A typical Dickson charge pump is shown in Figure 7 1 and are out of phase signals that drive the chargestorage capacitors, and C1n represents capacitors that store charge. To simplify the analysis, only D1 4 will be considered in the following discussion. When is high and is low, D2 and D4 are forwardbiased, while D1 and D3 are reversebiased, so current flows from C1 and C3 through D2 and D4 to charge C2 and the load, respectively. When is low and is high, D2 and D4 are reversebiased,
135 while D1 and D3 are forwardbiased, allowing current flowing through D1 and D3 to recharge C1 and C3, which will be disch arged in the next cycle. Alternate switching pumps charges continuously from input to output, and after on stage, the voltage increases by dV V V ( 7 1 ) where V and Vd are the ampli tude of the driving signal and the drop voltage of the diodes, respectively. Considering the parasitic capacitance from the diodes, however, (7 1 ) becomes d sV V C C C V ( 7 2 ) Assuming a purely capacitive load with RL= one can calculate the output voltage of an N stage Dickson charge pump as d d s in outV V V C C C N V V ) ( ( 7 3 ) Figure 7 1 Schem atic of the Dickson charge pump.
136 If RL the loading effect must be taken into consideration, and the output voltage is f C C I V V f C C I V V C C C N V Vs out out d s out d s in out ) ( ) ) ( ( ( 7 4 ) where Iout is the current delivered to the load, and f is the frequency of the driving clocks. The equivalent output resistance is defined as Rs, and the output voltage of the Thevenin network is s out out outR I V V ( 7 5 ) Therefore, comparing ( 7 4 ) and ( 7 5 ) gives the output resistance as f C C Rs s ) ( 1 ( 7 6 ) Figure 7 2 Simplified model of the interface between the charge pump and the sensor Figure 7 2 simply models the interface of the charge pump to the comb fingers of the sensor, where the charge pump is represented with a Thev enin network and the total capacitance of all the driving comb fingers is lumped into Cd. In order to keep good
137 linearity, VI should be virtual ground and the fluctuations due to coupling from the driving circuits should be as small as possible. A 1nF capacitor Cdecoupling is put in parallel with the load to reduce ac fluctuations. It is calculated from the model that d d s s IV C j R R V/ 1 ( 7 7 ) In this design, the total capacitance of all driving fi ngers is approximately 500fF and the drivingmode resonant frequency is around 2 kHz In order to make VI no more than 0.1% of Vd, which is 5V in this design, Rs should be less than 150 k capacitance of each stage is around 2.5 pF, so the clock frequency of the driving signal should be more than 2.5 MHz Figure 7 3 The schematic of the Dickson charge pump. 7.1.2 Circuit Implementation The schematic of the 6stage Dickson charge pump in this design is illustrated in Figure 7 3 Schottky diodes are used for their low dropoff voltage and fast response. The onchip capacitors are realized with poly insulator poly (PIP) capacitors, and the
138 capacitance value of each capacitor is 2 pF. The charge pump is implemented with AMI 0.5 m technology and the layout is shown in Figure 7 4 Figure 7 4 Layout of the 6stage charge pump. 7.1.3 Experimental Results For performance comparison, a 4stage charge pump with the same capacitors is fabricated as well. Figure 7 5 shows how the output voltage is affected by the clock frequency, with the load of 100 k 1M and 10 M As predicted by ( 7 9), the output voltage increases at higher clock frequency or with lighter load. It can be observed that a dc level as high as 32 V is generated by the 6stage charge pump at 10 MHz clock fre quency, when the load is 10 M The worst case happens when the load resistance is 100 k which represents serious leakage of the sensor capacitor, and the maximum output is 14 V which is still sufficient to start up the self oscillation.
139 Figure 7 5 Output voltage of different charge pump designs vs. clock frequency : (a) 6 stage charge pump; (b) 4stage charge pump. (a) (b)
140 7.2 Fast Settling RippleFree Peak Detector 7.2.1 Circuits Implementation Envelope detector is the key component in the AGC loop. The traditional RC envelope detector suffers from a tradeoff between tracking speed and ripple amplitude, i.e., fast envelope tracking will lead to large output ripples. In addition, large filtering capacitors are needed in such low frequency applications as MEMS gyroscopes, which are hard to be integrated. In this work, a new switched capacitor based envelope detector is designed to realize accurate and fast tracking for various input signals in the audio frequency range, such as speech signals and driving signals for MEMS gyroscopes. Figure 7 6 (a) shows the architecture of the proposed envelope detector, where + and are used in the subscription to identify different ial signal pairs or device pairs with similar functions. Two complimentary channels work in sequence for the input signal, Vin+ and its inverted signal, Vin -, respectively, in order to obtain the continuous envelope signal. In each channel, A1, M1, and C1 compose a peak detector, followed by a switchedcapacitor (SC) amplifier composed of A2, C1, and C2. The peak voltage of each cycle of the input signal is captured by the peak detector and is stored in C1. Then the peak voltage is transferred to the output through C2 of the SC amplifier A2. The clock signals are configured such that the peak value is isolated from the previous peak detecting stage as C1 is discharged to the analog ground for each cycle. Since the output is not affected by the charging/discharging of C1, the ripples due to this process are minimized. Also the capacitance of C1 can be small for fast settling. Compared with a conventional diodebased peak detector that draws the charging current from the amplifier and through a diode, this detector draws current directly from the power source
141 while the amplifier just provides a control signal. So, the slew rate is much higher, depending on the size of M1. Figure 7 6 (a) Architecture of the switchedcapacitor envelope detector; (b) clock signals and the voltage at critical nodes; (c) circuits for generating the nonoverlap control signals. The waveforms of the control signals and the voltages at critical nodes are illu strate d in Figure 7 6 (b) The control signals, s and h, are the buffered outputs of the comparison result of the input signal pair, as shown in Figure 7 6 (c) s and h are (a) ( b ) ( c )
142 nonoverlapping to reduce the glitches when the multiplexer is switched. To simplify the analysis, Vin+ is taken as the example to explain the operation. During the sampling phase, T1, s+ is high and h+ is low, so V1+ follows the ascending input signal and keeps the peak value after the input begins to descend because M1 only allows a current injected from the power supply to charge C1. The sampling phase will last until the input signal goes negative to minimize the error due to the phase misalignment of the sampling clocks V2+ is set to the analog ground during this phase. During the holding phase, T2, s+ goes low and h+ goes high, and the peak voltage previously stored in C1 is transferred to C2 with the gain of (C1/C2) and then a multiplexer is used to output the envelope signal. At the same time, the voltage across C1 is reset to zero, ready for the sampling of the next cycle. During T2, the channel of Vin does the sampling and has the peak value ready for output. The two channels work in consequence to ensure that the envelop signal is detected continuously. Since the output envelope signal is isolated from the previous stage, theoretically there are no ripples due to the charging/discharging of C1. Therefore, C1 and C2 can be small for fast settling. Furthermore, the envelope detector can be fully integrated because large filtering capacitors are not needed even for low frequency applications. 7.2.2 Experimental Results Figure 7 7 plots the output signal of the peak detector in response to an amplitudemodulated testing signal, whose fundamental frequency is 1 kHz and whose modulation signal is a 100Hz square wave, showing its ability to track abrupt amplitude change. The peak and valley amplitudes of the testing signal are 700mV and 7mV, respectively. The minimum amplitude is not zero because the envelope detector needs a nonzero
143 input to generate the control signal. It can be observed that the peak changing of the burst signal is tracked without any ripples due to the charging/discharging of the capacitor as conventional envelope detectors have. The tracking delay contains two parts. The first part is 1/4 of the modulation signal period because the detector needs a complete half cycle to finish the sampling and holding, while the second delay is due to the transition from the previous state to the analog ground, which is approx T he peak detector functions well in the frequency below 10 kHz and the maximum fundamental frequency that can be tracked by this envelope detector is limited majorly by the gainbandwidth product and the slew rate of the amplifiers. The signals with frequency higher than 10 kHz may result in glitches at the output due to the insufficient response speed of the amplifiers. Figure 7 7 Response of the envelope detector to an AM signal.
144 Figure 7 8 Dynamic range of the peak detector. The measurement result of the dynamic range is shown in Figure 7 8 where the peak detector shows less than 2% nonlinearity when the input amplitude changes from 10 mV to 900 mV, which indicates a 39 dB dynamic range. 7.3 Quadrature Error Compensation As discussed in Chapter 3, the quadrature error is orthogonal to the driving signal in phase and ideally is eliminated after the synchronous demodulation. However, due to the an extra delay existing in the driving loop, the resonant frequency in the primary mode drifts off the natural frequency, so the contribution of the quadrature error to the zerorate output (ZRO)will be nonzero after filtering. Furthermore, the risk exists that the quadrature error affects the dynamic range and the linearity of the interface circuitry severely or even saturates it, because the ampl itude of the coupled movement i s usually much larger than the Coriolis signal Therefore, it will be very beneficial to the
145 performance of the system if the quadrature error can be cancelled automatically by an electrostatic force that counters the quadrature error. Figure 7 9 shows a proposed block diagram to cancel the quadrature error automatically Extra comb fingers are used to actuate the proof mass in the sense mode, which makes the gyroscope an actuator, more than a pure accelerometer, in the sense mode. The amplitude of the quadrature error is obtained by demodulating t he mixture of the Coriolis signal and all coupled errors from the sense mode with a clock orthogonal to the driving signal. The amplitude information is then used to control the polarit y and the amplitude of the signal feedback to actuate the sense mode. Since the quadrature error is cancelled mechanically, the requirements on the dynamic range of the sensing circuits are mitigated. Figure 7 9 Block diagram of automatic quadrature error compensation. The force feedback loop is modeled mathematically in the block diagram shown in Figure 7 10 : The sense mode is modeled as a secondorder system, and the signal out of the sensor, which contains both the Coriolis signal and the quadrature error, is TIA AGC PLL Drive Loop + 90 o C/V 0o Rotating rate Low pass Low pass Gain Quadrature Quadrature compensation
146 synchronously demodulated by the clock in phase with the quadrature error in order to eliminate the effects of the Coriolis signal. Then the dc component after a low pass filter is modulated by the same clock and is amplified with certain gain as the driving signal that actuates the proof mass to cancel the quadrature error. Figure 7 10 Block Diagram of Loop for Quadrature Compensation. The transfer function of each block is listed as following: Sensor: j s se Q k j H 2 0 2 2 0) ( 1 1 ) ( w here ) ) ( 1 ( tan2 0 0 1 Q ( 7 8 ) Mixer: ) cos( ) ( t t h d m ( 7 9 ) where d is the self oscillation frequency of the drive mode. So the transfer function in the frequency domain is:
147 )) ( ) ( ( ) (d d mj H ( 7 10) Low pass filter ( 1st order): p LPj j H / 1 1 ) ( ( 7 11) So that the transfer function of the whole loop is then ))) ( ( )) 2 ( ( )) ( ( )) 2 ( ( ( ))) ( ( ) ( )) ( ( ) ( ( ) ( ) ( ))) ( ( )) ( ( ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) (2 2 d LP d s d LP d s d LP s d LP s m LP d s d s m LP m s loopj H j H j H j H G j H j H j H j H G j H j H j H j H G j H j H j H j H j H ( 7 12) Figure 7 11 Bode diagram of the quadrature compensation l oop. The Bode diagram of the loop looks as drawn in Figure 7 11. Approximately 6 kHz resonant frequency in the driving mode and 10 kHz in the sensing mode are assumed
148 to plot the diagram. The quality factor of the sense mode is set to 5, and the bandwidth of the low pass loop filter is 10 Hz. All of the above value is typical for MEMS gyroscopes. Due to the demodulation/modulation process, the pass band of the low pass loop filter is moved higher to the oscillation frequency of the drive mode as bandpass for the whole loop. The tradeoffs arise among the loop gain, the bandwidth and the stability of the loop. Higher frequency pole of the loop filter means faster responding speed to quadrature error change and smaller passive components value. Higher loop gain reduces the quadrature error better as well. However, the phase of the loop may drop to zero before the loop gain drops to unity, if the bandwidth of the loop fil ter is too high or the loop gain is too high. So the gain bandwidth product of the loop should be chosen carefully to avoid instability. Considering the fact that the oscillation in the drive mode is very stable due to the automatic gain control loop, high loop bandwidth is not necessary. Therefore, high dc loop gain and low bandwidth of the loop filter are the best combination in the quadrature cancellation loop. Since the quadrature error is a pure dc signal after the synchronous demodulation and the low pass filter, an integrator is used as the loop filter, which reduces the pole frequency to zero. A Matlab Simulink model is built to verify the concept and the simulation results with and without the quadrature error cancellation loop are compared in Figure 7 12(a) and (b). Figure 7 12(a) shows the simulation results of a system with an integrator as low pass filter, and the counterpart without the compensation loop is shown in Fig ure 7 12(b) It is observed that dc component of the quadrature error after demodulation and low pass filter has been reduced from 4V to less than 0.1V when the gyroscope is
149 subject to 200/s rotation The comparison of these two figures indicates that t he compensation loop reduces the quadrature error significantly. Figure 7 1 2 Simulink s imulation r esults of the gyroscope system: (a) without quadrature error cancellation; and (b) with quadrature error cancellation loop. (a) (b) Sense mode signal Demodulated signal Rotation Quadrature Sense mode signal Demodulated signal Rotation Quadrature
150 8 CHAPTER 8 C ONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORKS In this thesis, techniques are demonstrated for the sensing and control electronics design for monolithic CMOS MEMS inertial sensors, with the focus on low power and low n oise. A monolithic inertial measurement unit composed with a threeaxis accelerometer, a lateral axis gyroscope, and a vertical axis gyroscope has been developed with TSMC/Vanguard 0.35 m technology, and the electronics has been integrated with the MEMS devices on a single chip and has been characterized. A n improved dual chopper amplifier is developed for the threeaxis accelerometers to achieve low noise and low power consumption. The improvement to the front end amplifier reduces the temperature coeffici ent of its gain by replacing the NMOS load with the PMOS counterpart. A three axis accelerometer with DCA achieves the noise floor of 40 g/ 40 g/ and 130 g/ respectively, with the power consumption of 1mW/axis. A novel threeaxis accelerometer has been demonstrated being integrated with CMOS electronics base on the DCA as a part of the 5 axis inertial measurement unit. The vertical springs for the z axis reduce the cross coupling from the lateral axes. The device achieves the noise floor of 50 g/ for x/y axis, and 80 g/ for z axis. A novel differential difference amplifier has been demonstrated in this dissertation as the front end amplifier for CMOS MEMS gyroscopes, which have when ultrasmall sensing capacitance and ultralow mechanical sensitivity, in order to realize high gain, low temperature dependence, and low noise The gain set by the extra capacitive feedback is independent on the sensing capacitance of the device. The advantage of SNR over most of other architectures has been proved theoretically. A 24dB gain is
151 achieved with the DDA, with the temperature dependence as low as 0.01%/ C. The Coriolis sensing circuit with the DDA as the front end achieves 150nV/ Hz input referred noise floor. The control electronics of the primary mode of the CMOS MEMS gyroscopes have been demonstrated. The transimpedance amplifier with tunable gate voltage converts the displacements of the primary mode to voltage signal with 90 phase leading to compensate the phase change from the driving signal to the displacement, and it ensures that the proof mass oscillate at the natural resonant frequency. 1.8~6.9 M transimpedance is achieved with a long transistor, and the Tnetwork prov ides another degree of freedom to adjust the impedance. A novel lowripple fast settling peak detector has been demonstrated to track the amplitude of the driving signal fast without glitches. 1 s response time is achieved for the input signals with their frequency up to 10 kHz. One X/Y axis gyroscope and one z axis gyroscope have been demonstrated to be integrated with the electronics on the single standard CMOS chip. The two systems show the sensitivities and noise floors of 1.2mV//s and 0.050/s/ Hz for z axis, and 1.3mV/ /s and 0.046/s/ downgraded by the lack of high onchip voltage, which limits the oscillation amplitude and the mechanical sensitivity. With the charge pump added in, a noise floor of 0.005/s/ A prototype Dickson charge pump has been developed with AMI 0. 5 m technology to provide high onchip voltage. 32V high voltage is generated to 10 M load, with 6 stage charge pump and 10 MHz clock frequency. The charge pump has
152 been proved to be able to provide higher voltage than 14V in the worst case, when the load is increased to 100k due to serious leakage of the capacitors which is still high enough to start up the oscillation. The dynamics of the gyroscope is studied theoretically and a method of cancelling the quadrature error is demonstrated i n this dissertation. The tradeoff between quadrature error reduction and system stability is analyzed theoretically. One of the suggested works in the future is the study on the system level. The work in this dissertation focuses on low power and low noise of the front end circuitry and the function of the whole system. A detailed research on the noise related to other parts, including power supply, modulation signal, and t he architecture of the system, etc will be beneficial on the performance optimization of the system. Another suggested work is the implementation of the quadrature error cancellation loop for MEMS gyroscopes With the quadrature error reduced automaticall y, the dynamic range of the system can be improved significantly. A phase lock loop (PLL) is suggested being added in to generate the quadrature clock. The loop dynamics needs to be understood thoroughly to reduce the quadrature error while keeping the sys tem stable. The last but not least, t he longterm testing is necessary to investigate the bias stability of the system. Since the gyroscope works in air, the resonant frequency can shift due to the environment variation, such as temperature, pressure, etc The purpose of the longterm testing is to investigate the ability of the control electronics to track the resonant frequency change and to maintain the resonance.
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163 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Hongzhi Sun received his B.S. in materials science and engine ering in 2005 from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Since 2005, he has been a graduate student of the department of electrical and computer engineering of University of Florida, supervised by Dr. Huikai Xie. His research focuses on the analog control and sensing electronics for CMOS MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes. Hongzhi Sun is expected to obtain his PhD degree in December 2011.