This paper discusses the modeling, design and realization of micromachined Coriolis mass flow sensors. A lumped element model is used to analyze and predict the sensor performance. The model is used to design a sensor for a flow range of 0–1.2 g h−1 with a maximum pressure drop of 1 bar. The sensor was realized using semi-circular channels just beneath the surface of a silicon wafer. The channels have thin silicon nitride walls to minimize the channel mass with respect to the mass of the moving fluid. Special comb-shaped electrodes are integrated on the channels for capacitive readout of the extremely small Coriolis displacements. The comb-shaped electrode design eliminates the need for multiple metal layers and sacrificial layer etching methods. Furthermore, it prevents squeezed film damping due to a thin layer of air between the capacitor electrodes. As a result, the sensor operates at atmospheric pressure with a quality factor in the order of 40 and does not require vacuum packaging like other micro Coriolis flow sensors. Measurement results using water, ethanol, white gas and argon are presented, showing that the sensor measures true mass flow. The measurement error is currently in the order of 1% of the full scale of 1.2 g h−1.
Haneveld, J., Lammerink, T. S. J., de Boer, M. J., Sanders, R. G. P., Mehendale, A., Lötters, J. C., ... Wiegerink, R. J. (2010). Modeling, design, fabrication and characterization of a micro Coriolis mass flow sensor. Journal of micromechanics and microengineering, 20(6), 125001. https://doi.org/10.1088/0960-1317/20/12/125001