Response of Piezoresistive MEMS Accelerometers and Pressure Transducers to High Gamma Dose

Keith Holbert, James A. Nessel, Steven S. McCready, A. Sharif Heger, Thomas H. Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Several piezoresistive microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors are operated in a gamma ray environment to doses of 800 kGy. The pressure transducers and accelerometers are micromachined silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and bulk silicon devices, respectively. Both sensor types experienced similar performance degradation: a drift in offset voltage with a slight increase in sensitivity. We explain the drift in offset voltage for all sensors tested by correlating the change in resistance of the silicon piezoresistors to the formation of oxide and interface trapped hole charges. We demonstrate how these charges effectively reduce the volume for current flow through the piezoresistors due to the creation of a depletion region surrounding the periphery of the gage resistors. Differences in the magnitude of the output voltage drift of the two sensor types are determined to be related to the unique construction of each sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1852-1859
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Accelerometers
  • Gamma radiation
  • Microelectromechanical (MEMS)
  • Piezoresistive
  • Pressure transducers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Response of Piezoresistive MEMS Accelerometers and Pressure Transducers to High Gamma Dose'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this