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Strain sensitivity and temperature influence on sputtered thin films for piezoresistive sensors

Sensors and Actuators A Physical
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0924-4247(93)80132-z


Abstract The use of Ni-Cr thin-film resistors as strain-sensitive gages has been studied. Composition and thermal treatments are optimized for the following parameters: gage factor ( FG) and temperature coefficient of resistance ( TCR). TCR has been determined using an automatic data acquisition system with implemented software. FG has been determined by the cantilever method. The optimum thin-film composition (Ni 50%-Cr 50%) has been determined. Low stable TCR values (less than 20 ppm in the 30–150 °C temperature range) are obtained. Resistance stability is achieved with a 24 h heat treatment at 150 °C. The desired 40.Ω/square sheet resistance has been attained for 50 nm thick films. A longitudinal gage factor of 2.3 is obtained for this composition (and a lower transversal gage factor of 0.83). With the established process, Ni-Cr thin-film strain gages satisfy the main properties required for their application to piezoresistive pressure transducers: adequate strain sensitivity, high sheet resistance, low thermal sensitivity and good thermal stability.

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