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Thermal characterization of microheaters from the dynamic response

Institute of Physics
Publication Date
  • Electrical Communication Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Thermal characterization of surface-micromachined microheaters is carried out from their dynamic response to electrothermal excitations. An electrical equivalent circuit model is developed for the thermo-mechanical system. The mechanical parameters are extracted from the frequency response obtained using a laser Doppler vibrometer. The resonant frequencies of the microheaters are measured and compared with FEM simulations. The thermal time constants are obtained from the electrical equivalent model by fitting the model response to the measured frequency response. Microheaters with an active area of 140 µm × 140 µm have been realized on two different layers (poly-1 and poly-2) with two different air gaps (2 µm and 2.75 µm). The effective time constants, combining thermal and mechanical responses, are in the range of 0.13–0.22 ms for heaters on the poly-1 layer and 1.9 µs–0.15 ms for microheaters on the poly-2 layer. The thermal time constants of the microheaters are in the range of a few microseconds, thus making them suitable for sensor applications that need a faster thermal response.

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