Modeling and design of polymer-based tunneling accelerometers by ANSYS/MATLAB

Wei Xue, Jing Wang, Tianhong Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A prototype design of an inexpensive polymer-based tunneling accelerometer is described in this paper. Instead of silicon, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is used as the mechanical material. By using silicon molds fabricated by conventional lithography and wet-etching techniques in hot embossing, PMMA structures can be replicated within 20 min. The performance of the tunneling sensor can be estimated and improved based on mechanical-level analysis by ANSYS and system-level analysis by MATLAB. The nonlinear tunneling mechanism and electrostatic actuation are linearized using small-signal approximation. To enhance the stability and broaden the bandwidth of the tunneling accelerometer system, a feedback control system with one zero and two poles is designed. The dynamic range of the system is greatly enhanced. The bandwidth of the closed-loop system is approximately 15 kHz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-472
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Feedback control system
  • Hot embossing
  • Polymer
  • Tunneling accelerometer


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