01 January 2020
pressure sensor, MEMS, graphene, piezoresistive, resonant pressure sensor, capacitive pressure sensor, optical fiber pressure sensor, piezoelectric pressure sensor, implantable pressure sensor, blood pressure, intraocular pressure, intracranial pressure
Miniature Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) pressure sensors possess various merits, such as low power consumption, being lightweight, having a small volume, accurate measurement in a space-limited region, low cost, little influence on the objects being detected. Accurate blood pressure has been frequently required for medical diagnosis. Miniature pressure sensors could directly measure the blood pressure and fluctuation in blood vessels with an inner diameter from 200 to 1000 μm. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases usually resulting from abnormal intraocular pressure. The implantable pressure sensor for real-time inspection would keep the disease from worsening; meanwhile, these small devices could alleviate the discomfort of patients. In addition to medical applications, miniature pressure sensors have also been used in the aerospace, industrial, and consumer electronics fields. To clearly illustrate the “miniature size”, this paper focuses on miniature pressure sensors with an overall size of less than 2 mm × 2 mm or a pressure sensitive diaphragm area of less than 1 mm × 1 mm. In this paper, firstly, the working principles of several types of pressure sensors are briefly introduced. Secondly, the miniaturization with the development of the semiconductor processing technology is discussed. Thirdly, the sizes, performances, manufacturing processes, structures, and materials of small pressure sensors used in the different fields are explained in detail, especially in the medical field. Fourthly, problems encountered in the miniaturization of miniature pressure sensors are analyzed and possible solutions proposed. Finally, the probable development directions of miniature pressure sensors in the future are discussed.