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High performance m&nems sensors

Published on 14 April 2023

M&NEMS Sensors

Generic technology for accelerometers, pressure sensors and gyrometers

  What is M&NEMS? 

  • CEA-Leti has developed a new design and detection method combining micro- and nano-electromechanical systems (M&NEMS), further pushing the boundaries of existing MEMS technologies.

  • A MEMS uses electricity as its energy source to fulfill a sensor or actuator function. Multi-accelerometer, gyrometer and pressure sensor technology is implemented in CEA-Leti's case.

  • When used as a sensor, a MEMS features a moving part sensitive to a physical quantity (e.g. speed, pressure, direction). Variation of this physical quantity is then converted into an electrical quantity, which is then analyzed by the MEMS electrical part. Sometimes, it integrates a micro-actuator, which will act on the mechanical part on receiving an electrical signal.


  • This technology finds applications in various markets including:
  1. The environment
  2. Medical devices
  3. Industry and robotics
  4. Automotive
  5. Defense
  6. Consumer market

   Nouveautés :

  • M&NEMS technology is based on piezoresistive detection using silicon nanowires (nanogauges).
  • When the component sustains an external action, e.g. an acceleration, pressure or rotation, the movement of a moving mass (accelerometer or gyrometer) or a membrane (pressure) induces stresses on nanogauges via a lever arm or transmission: nanogauge 1 retracts, while nanogauge 2 extends. The electrical resistance of the nanogauges varies due to the piezoresistive effect. The acceleration or other value can be accurately reported by measuring this resistance variation differentially using a so-called Wheastone bridge arrangement.

  • Silicon nanowire sensitive devices offer many advantages compared with existing capacitive sensors in MEMS:

  1. Linear response while capacitive detection is very non-linear
  2. Less sensitivity to parasitic capacitances, which greatly simplifies electronic interface circuitry and assembly
  3. Better performance due to stress concentration in a very small gauge cross section.


  • Multi-sensor technology
  • Performance characteristics
    already demonstrated for 3-axis
    accelerometers and gyrometers,
    and pressure sensors
  • More than 20 patents

  •       FLYER

    (415 Ko)