This paper reports on the pressure sensitivity testing of MEMS thermal shear stress sensors. The MEMS sensor is a micromachined, vacuum-cavity insulated, thermal shear stress sensor for underwater applications. This paper is focused on the combined experimental and numerical study carried out to examine the effects of changing environmental pressure on the MEMS-based shear stress sensors. Four different sensors were tested experimentally and numerically. The silicon nitride diaphragms for each sensor are 4-μm thick. The length of each diaphragm is 210-μm while the widths are 210-μm, 150-μm, 100-μm, and 75-μm respectively. It is found that reducing the surface area size and increasing the thickness of the sensor diaphragms are effective in minimizing the pressure sensitivity.

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