Experimental analysis of thermomechanical noise in micro Coriolis mass flow sensors

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    Coriolis mass flow sensors mechanically detect mass flows using a vibrating channel. For microfabricated sensors, thermomechanical noise causes random vibrations and defines therefore a fundamental limit to the resolution of the sensor. This is modeled using the equipartition theorem. In an experimental setup, the displacement of the channel due to thermomechanical noise is measured using a laser Doppler vibrometer for temperatures between approximately 300 K and 700 K. The results show RMS vibration amplitudes of 38 pm to 57 pm for a bandwidth of 13 Hz, as predicted by the model. This corresponds to a noise equivalent mass flow of 0.3 ng/s. It is shown that the resolution of the currently most sensitive Coriolis mass sensor is still one to two orders of magnitude above the thermal noise limit.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)212-216
    Number of pages5
    JournalSensors and actuators. A: Physical
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


    • Coriolis flow sensor
    • Mass flow
    • Thermomechanical noise
    • MEMS
    • Equipartition theorem
    • Johnson–Nyquist
    • Signal to noise ratio
    • Laser Doppler vibrometry
    • 22/3 OA procedure


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