MEMS Sensor Working and Its Applications

The term MEMS stands for micro-electro-mechanical systems. These are a set of devices, and the characterization of these devices can be done by their tiny size & the designing mode. The designing of these sensors can be done with the 1- 100-micrometer components. These devices can differ from small structures to very difficult electromechanical systems with numerous moving elements beneath the control of incorporated micro-electronics. Usually, these sensors include mechanical micro-actuators, micro-structures, micro-electronics, and micro-sensors in one package. This article discusses what is a MEMS sensor, working principle, advantages and it’s applications

What is a MEMS Sensor?

MEMS are low-cost, and high accuracy inertial sensors and these are used to serve an extensive range of industrial applications. This sensor uses a chip-based technology namely micro-electro-mechanical-system. These sensors are used to detect as well as measure the external stimulus like pressure, after that it responds to the pressure which is measured pressure with the help of some mechanical actions. The best examples of this mainly include revolving of a motor for compensating the pressure change.

The MEMS IC fabrication can be done with silicon, whereby slight material layers are placed otherwise fixed onto a Si substrate. After that selectively fixed away to leave microscopic 3D structures like diaphragms, beams, levers, springs, and gears.


The MEMS fabrication needs many techniques which are used to construct other semiconductor circuits like oxidation process, diffusion process, ion implantation process, low-pressure chemical vapor deposition process, sputtering, etc. Additionally, these sensors use a particular process like micromachining.

MEMS Sensor Working Principle

Whenever the tilt is applied to the MEMS sensor, then a balanced mass makes a difference within the electric potential. This can be measured like a change within capacitance. Then that signal can be changed to create a stable output signal in digital, 4-20mA or VDC.

These sensors are fine solutions to some applications which do not demand the maximum accuracy like industrial automation, position control, roll, and pitch measurement, and platform leveling.


Types of MEMS

The common types of MEMS sensors are obtainable within the market are

  • MEMS accelerometers
  • MEMS gyroscopes
  • MEMS pressure sensors
  • MEMS magnetic field sensors

MEMS Advantages

The advantages of MEMS sensor include the following.

  • The manufacturing of MEMS is semiconductor IC manufacturing like low-cost mass invention, consistency is also essential to MEMS devices.
  • The size of sensor sub-components will be within 1 to 100 micrometers range as well as the MEMS device size will determine 20 micro-meter to a millimeter range.
  • Power consumption is very low.
  • Simple to incorporate into systems or change
  • The thermal constant is small
  • These can be highly opposed to shock, radiation, and vibration.
  • Better thermal development tolerance
  • Parallelism

Applications of MEMS

MEMS sensors are used in different domains which include automotive, consumer, industrial, military, biotechnology, space exploration, and commercial purposes which include inkjet printers, accelerometers within modern cars, consumer electronics, in personal computers, etc.

The best examples of MEMS devices mainly include adaptive optics, optical cross-connects, airbag accelerometers, mirror arrays for TVs & displays, steerable micromirrors, RF MEMS devices, not reusable medical devices, etc.

Thus, this is all about the MEMS sensor. The main disadvantage of these sensors is, even though the making cost for each part is extremely low. But there is a huge investment associated while designing, manufacturing, and succeeding MEMS-based product. Consequently, designers are not likely to expand components for low volume applications. Here is a question for you, what are the categories of MEMS devices?