Except for MEMS working in ultra high vacuum, the main cause of damping is the air surrounding the system. When the working pressure is equal to the atmospheric one (from now on called “high pressure”, i.e. 105Pa), the mean free path of an air molecule is much smaller than typical MEMS dimensions. Thus, air can be considered as a viscous fluid and two phenomena occur: flow damping and squeeze film damping. These two terms can be evaluated through a simplified Navies-Stocks equation. In vacuum (from now on called “low pressure”, i.e. 26Pa), the air cannot be considered as a viscous fluid any more since the free path of an air molecule is of the same order of magnitude of typical MEMS dimensions. Thus, the molecular fluid theory must be used to estimate the damping. To predict the damping of a MEMS device both at high and low pressure levels, a multi-physics code was used and the achieved numerical results were compared to experimental data measured on the same device.
Estimation of the Damping in MEMS Inertial Sensors: Comparison Between Numerical and Experimental Results Both at High and Low Pressure Levels
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Braghin, F, Leo, E, & Resta, F. "Estimation of the Damping in MEMS Inertial Sensors: Comparison Between Numerical and Experimental Results Both at High and Low Pressure Levels." Proceedings of the ASME 8th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis. Volume 2: Automotive Systems, Bioengineering and Biomedical Technology, Fluids Engineering, Maintenance Engineering and Non-Destructive Evaluation, and Nanotechnology. Torino, Italy. July 4–7, 2006. pp. 759-766. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ESDA2006-95549
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