Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have been recently proposed for realizing several references in electrical metrology. Such devices are formed from micromachined electrodes of which at least one is supported by a compliant structure such that an electrostatic force between two electrodes displaces the moving electrode. The properties of these electromechanical devices can be very stable if they are fabricated from single-crystalline silicon and sealed hermetically in a low-pressure atmosphere. In comparison to several semiconducting reference devices, micromechanical components are large in size and consume a negligible power. Thus, a low 1/f noise level is expected. The proposed MEMS electrical references include a DC and an AC voltage reference, an AC/DC converter, a low-frequency voltage divider, a microwave and millimeter-wave detector, a DC current reference, etc. Measurements on a prototype for a MEMS DC reference are discussed. The stability is presently limited by charge fluctuations on the native oxides of electrode surfaces. Preliminary results show relative fluctuations below 1 /spl mu/V/V.
|Number of pages
|IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
|Published - 2001
|MoE publication type
|A1 Journal article-refereed