Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Low-Noise Large Dynamic Range Multi-Axis Accelerometers Made From Thick Silicon

Technology #6986

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Khalil Najafi
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734-764-8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
Technology for fabricating dense 3-D microstructure arrays for biomimetic hair-like sensors
Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), 2013 IEEE 26th International Conference. 20-24 Jan. 2013. 355 - 358., 2013

Capacitive accelerometers and inertial measurement units are used in a wide range of applications such as smart phones and tablets, aerospace navigation, and industrial testing and measurement. By 2019, the revenue for microelectromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers and gyroscopes is expected to reach $5 billion, and miniaturization is the critical product feature [1]. Several device dimensions are critical in determining the sensor’s sensitivity and measurement noise, but these dimensions cannot be varied independently using traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, the dimensions needed to achieve improved sensor performance are limited by the traditional manufacturing technique.

Improved Sensor Capabilities

A novel manufacturing technique allows a sensor with increased performance within a given sensor footprint by eliminating several limitations of the traditional manufacturing method. This allows reduced sensor footprint while meeting the same sensor specifications. Finally, the technique allows sensor parameters to vary independently, allowing a wider range of realizable performance.


  • MEMS accelerometers and gyroscopes
  • Inertial Measurement Units
  • Other MEMS sensors and actuators, e.g., flow, acoustic, and magnetic sensors


  • Higher measurement sensitivity
  • Reduced measurement noise
  • Smaller device footprint

[1] Global Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, and IMU Sensors Markets (M906). Frost and Sullivan. (2013).