We present a pressure sensor based on the convective cooling of the air surrounding an electrothermally heated resonant bridge. Unlike conventional pressure sensors that rely on diaphragm deformation in response to pressure, the sensor does not require diaphragms of the large surface area, and hence is scalable and can be realized even at the nanoscale. The concept is demonstrated using both straight and arch microbeam resonators driven and sensed electrostatically. The change in the surrounding pressure is shown to be accurately tracked by monitoring the change in the resonance frequency of the structure. The sensitivity of the sensor, which is controllable by the applied electrothermal load, is shown near 57 811 ppm/mbar for a pressure range from 1 to 10 Torr. We show that a straight beam operated near the buckling threshold leads to the maximum sensitivity of the device. The experimental data and simulation results, based on a multi-physics finite element model, demonstrate the feasibility and simplicity of the pressure sensor. Published by AIP Publishing.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) funds.