Thermoelectrical characterization and comparative analysis of three finite element models of a MEMS thermal sensor

Maribel Gómez Franco, Antonio Ramírez Treviño, Eduard Figueras, Angel Sauceda Carvajal


This document presents the finite element modeling using ANSYS to obtain the thermal resistance of a MEMS thermal sensor. Additionally, the document describes a thermoelectrical characterization to find the sensor performance parameters. For modeling purposes, we divided the thermal sensor into four different thickness zones. We analyzed three different models, the first includes all materials layers, the second involves an equivalent thermal conductivity and an equivalent thickness for each zone, and the proposed model besides using an equivalent thermal conductivity by zone also considers the same thickness for all zones to reduce simulation time and to optimize thermal sensor design parameters. The first model evaluates three different boundary conditions, while the second and third models consider two different thermopile wide strips. The thermal resistance of the proposed model has a relative error of 11% in relation to the experimental value. The model, considering all layers and heat power applied to the surface as boundary conditions, has the lowest error (9%), while models considering the thermopile strips width have shown a higher error, 67%. As a result, the proposed model for heat transfer analysis simplifies complex geometries and reduces simulation time.


thermal sensor, thermopile, thermal resistance, thermoelectrical characterization, microcalorimeter, MEMS

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