A comparison of two excitation modes for MEMS electrothermal displacement sensors

Ali Mohammadi, S. O.Reza Moheimani, Mehmet Rasit Yuce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


MEMS electrothermal displacement sensors can be operated in constant current (CC) or constant voltage (CV) excitation modes. The CV mode is more commonly used. However, there have been reports that the CC excitation mode may lead to a larger measured signal, and thus, it may be a better choice than the CV mode. In this letter, we present an analytic comparison of the two methods, and show that from a signal-to-noise-ratio point of view, benefits of operating a sensor in CC mode are only marginal. The analytical investigation is supported by experiments performed on sensors integrated in a SOI-MEMS nanopositioner with low noise read out circuits, which leads to 0.04 Hz displacement resolution for both excitation modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6787062
Pages (from-to)584-586
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Electron Device Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2014


  • electrothermal sensor
  • Micro-electromechancial systems (MEMS)
  • noise.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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