We describe a highly effective method of reducing thermal sensitivity in piezoresistive sensors, in particular silicon cantilevers, by taking advantage of the dependence of the piezoresistive coefficient of silicon on crystallographic orientation. Two similar strain-sensing elements are used, positioned at 45 degrees to each other: One is set along a crystalline axis associated with a maximum piezoresistive coefficient to produce the displacement signal, while the other is set along an axis of the vanishing coefficient to produce the reference signal. Unlike other approaches, both sensing elements are coupled to the same cantilever body, maximizing thermal equilibration. Measurements show at least one order of magnitude improvement in thermal disturbance rejection over conventional approaches using uncoupled resistors.
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