STTR Phase I: High Relative Permittivity Packaging to Enhance MEMS Gyroscopic Sensors

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0712339
Agency Tracking Number: 0712339
Amount: $149,974.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
2693D Commerce Rd., 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Rapid City, SD, 57702
DUNS: 102889073
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Brunsch
 (605) 342-2553
Business Contact
 James Brunsch
Title: PhD
Phone: (605) 342-2553
Research Institution
 Auburn Univ
 Robert A Dean
 310 Samford Hall
Auburn, AL, 36849 5131
 (334) 844-1838
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project will seek to significantly enhance the performance of MEMS gyroscopic sensors through the use of innovative packaging. This effort will be the firs step in the commercialization of a technique for augmenting electrostatic MEMS devices through hermetically packaging them in a gas chemistry that possesses a relative permittivity significantly greater than one, which results in an equivalent gain in each of the fundamental equations governing the performance of electrostatic MEMS devices. For example, sulfur dioxide is one gas that has been identified as suitable for this application. The result of utilizing this technique is the realization of an equivalent performance MEMS device that can be smaller, lower voltage and/or more powerful than the same device packaged in a vacuum or a traditional gas chemistry. MEMS gyroscopic sensors are particularly well suited to take advantage of this technology, due to the sensor's architecture where both electrostatic actuation and capacitive sensing are employed, and because of the large, but cost sensitive commercial market potential, which includes inertial sensing, automotive safety, the Segway Human Transporter and similar systems, and camcorder and digital camera image stabilization. If successful one of the outcomes of this effort will be an increased knowledgebase of the fluidic damping, dielectric breakdown, and relative permittivity voltage magnitude/frequency dependence properties of various gas chemistries that have not heretofore been investigated in this type of application. This should lead to new MEMS products, the application of existing MEMS products to new applications, and an enhanced understanding of the capabilities and limitations of micromachined devices.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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