A micromachined flow shear-stress sensor based on thermal transfer principles

Chang Liu*, Jin Biao Huang, Zhenjun Zhu, Fukang Jiang, Steve Tung, Yu Chong Tai, Chih Ming Ho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Microhot-film shear-stress sensors have been developed by using surface micromachining techniques. The sensor consists of a suspended silicon-nitride diaphragm located on top of a vacuum-sealed cavity. A heating and heat-sensing element, made of polycrystalline silicon material, resides on top of the diaphragm. The underlying vacuum cavity greatly reduces conductive heat loss to the substrate and therefore increases the sensitivity of the sensor. Testing of the sensor has been conducted in a wind tunnel under three operation modes - constant current, constant voltage, and constant temperature. Under the constant-temperature mode, a typical shear-stress sensor exhibits a time constant of 72 μs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-98
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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