(19)
(11)EP 2 423 656 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
19.02.2020 Bulletin 2020/08

(21)Application number: 11176999.8

(22)Date of filing:  09.08.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01L 9/00  (2006.01)
G01L 19/06  (2006.01)
G01L 19/14  (2006.01)

(54)

Pressure sensor

Drucksensor

Capteur de pression


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 23.08.2010 US 861318

(43)Date of publication of application:
29.02.2012 Bulletin 2012/09

(73)Proprietor: Honeywell International Inc.
Morris Plains, NJ 07950 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Wade, Richard
    Morristown, NJ New Jersey 07962-2245 (US)
  • Bentley, Ian
    Morristown, NJ New Jersey 07962-2245 (US)

(74)Representative: Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP 
Lincoln House, 5th Floor 300 High Holborn
London WC1V 7JH
London WC1V 7JH (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 2 184 594
US-A- 4 823 605
US-A- 4 658 651
US-A- 5 086 777
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Field



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to pressure sensors, and more particularly, to pressure sensors for sensing pressure of a media.

    Background



    [0002] Sensors, such as pressure and flow sensors, are often used to sense the pressure and/or flow of a media (e.g. gas or liquid) in a fluid channel. Such sensors are commonly used in a wide variety of applications including, for example, medical applications, flight control applications, industrial process applications, combustion control applications, weather monitoring applications, water metering applications, as well as many other applications.

    [0003] EP 2184594 discloses a pressure sensor comprising an enclosed area and a pressure channel. US 5086777 discloses a disposable pressure transducer comprising a temperature compensated circuit adjacent a passageway. US 4658651 discloses a Wheatstone bridge based pressure transducer for providing reduced thermal shift. US 4823605 discloses a semiconductor pressure sensor for measurement of absolute pressure.

    Summary



    [0004] The present invention in its various aspects is as set out in the appended claims. The present disclosure relates generally to pressure sensors, and more particularly, to pressure sensors for sensing a pressure of a media such as a gas or a liquid.

    [0005] In some cases, an opening in the first housing member and/or the second housing member may be defined by one or more tapered and/or chamfered edges that are angled away from an axis extending perpendicular to the substrate. The one or more tapered and/or chamfered edges may help provide freeze damage protection to the pressure sensor by, for example, providing a relief so that when a freezing media expands, the freezing media is directed away from the pressure sensor.

    [0006] In another illustrative embodiment, a method of manufacturing a pressure sensor according to claim 13 is disclosed.

    [0007] The preceding summary is provided to facilitate a general understanding of some of the innovative features of the present disclosure, and is not intended to be a full description. A full appreciation of the disclosure can be gained by taking the entire specification, claims, drawings, and abstract as a whole.

    Brief Description



    [0008] The disclosure may be more completely understood in consideration of the following detailed description of various illustrative embodiments of the disclosure in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

    Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view of an illustrative embodiment of a pressure sensor;

    Figures 2 and 3 are top and bottom perspective views of the illustrative pressure sensor shown in Figure 1;

    Figures 4 and 5 are top and bottom perspective views of an inner housing member of the top protective cover shown in Figures 1 and 2; and

    Figures 6-10 are top perspective views of illustrative embodiments of pressure sensors including alternate inner housing members.


    Description



    [0009] The following description should be read with reference to the drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate like elements throughout the several views. The description and drawings show several embodiments which are meant to be illustrative in nature.

    [0010] Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view of an illustrative pressure sensor 41 having enhanced media compatibility. In the illustrate embodiment, pressure sensor includes a passivating agent 13 or other coating for isolating the electrical and/or other components of the pressure sensor 41 from a media, such as a liquid media, while still transmitting pressure to the pressure sensor. In some embodiments, the passivating agent 13 may be impervious to the media to help prevent corrosion and/or other undesirable effects on the sensor components. An example passivating agent 13 can include a gel, such as a fluorosilicone gel. However, other suitable gels or passivating agents may be used, as desired.

    [0011] As shown in Figure 1, the pressure sensor 41 includes a pressure sensing die 18 mounted on a package substrate 12. In the illustrative embodiment, the pressure sensing die 18 may be a micromechanical sensor element fabricated using a silicon wafer and suitable fabrication techniques. The pressure sensing die 18 has one or more pressure sensing elements and/or other circuitry (e.g. trim circuitry, signal conditioning circuitry, etc.) formed using suitable fabrication or printing techniques. The the pressure sensing die 18 includes a pressure sensing diaphragm 26 including one or more sensing elements, such as piezoresistive sensing components, formed thereon for sensing a deflection and thus a pressure differential between a top and bottom side of the pressure sensing diaphragm 26. In some cases, the pressure sensing diaphragm 26 may be fabricated by back-side etching a silicon die, however, any suitable process may be used, as desired.

    [0012] When provided, the piezoresistive components may be configured to have an electrical resistance that varies according to an applied mechanical stress (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26 deflection). In some cases, the piezoresistive components may include a silicon piezoresistive material, however, other non-silicon materials may be used. In some cases, the piezoresistive components may be connected in a Wheatstone bridge configuration (full or half bridge). It is to be understood that the piezoresistive components are only one example of a pressure sensing element that can be used, and it is contemplated that any other suitable sensing elements may be used, as desired.

    [0013] In some embodiments, such as the illustrative embodiment shown in Figure 1, the pressure sensor 41 may include optional signal conditioning circuitry 36 mounted on substrate 12. In some cases, the signal conditioning circuitry may include an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) or other electronics. In some cases, the optional signal conditioning circuitry 36 may include amplification, analog-to-digital conversion, offset compensation circuitry, and/or other suitable signal conditioning electronics. When so provided, the signal conditioning circuitry 36 may receive a signal from the pressure sensing die 18, and condition and/or process the signal for transmission from the pressure sensor.

    [0014] While an ASIC die is shown, it is contemplated that signal conditioning circuitry 36 may include any suitable signal conditioning circuitry including any suitable microprocessor or microcontroller, as desired.

    [0015] In some cases, signal conditioning circuitry 36 may be mounted to the package substrate 12 using an adhesive 40 or any other suitable bonding mechanism (e.g. solder, eutectic, etc.). As shown, signal conditioning circuitry 36 may be secured to the package substrate 12 adjacent to the pressure sense die 18, and may be electrically connected to pressure sensing die 18 via direct die-to-die wire bonds, but this is not required. As shown in Figure 1, pressure sensing die 18 may be connected to signal conditioning circuitry 36 via wire bond 34, and signal conditioning circuitry 36 may be connected to trace conductors on the package substrate 12 via bond wires 38. Trace conductors may be connected to connectors, leads or terminals (shown as 30 in Figure 2) of the pressure sensor 41.

    [0016] In the illustrative embodiment, the package substrate 12 may include a ceramic material, however, it is contemplated that other suitable materials may be used as desired. In some cases, the pressure sensing die 18 may be mounted to the substrate 12 using an adhesive 32 such as a silicone, RTV, a silicone-epoxy, a soft epoxy, or a regular or hard epoxy. In some cases, the adhesive 32 may have a thickness providing mechanical stress isolation between the pressure sensing die 18 and the package substrate 12 such that the pressure sensing die 18 is effectively unconstrained relative to the package substrate 12. In some cases, the thickness of adhesive 32 may be thick enough for adequate adherence of pressure sense die 18 to substrate 12, but not so thick so as to interfere with the bonding or diaphragm of pressure sense die 18. In other cases, the pressure sensing die 18 may be mounted to the substrate 12 using any other suitable bonding mechanism (e.g. solder, eutectic, etc.).

    [0017] In some instances, an alumina based ceramic package substrate 12 may be used, and a pressure sensing die 18 may be directly attached or glued to the package substrate 12, sometimes using an RTV, silicone, epoxy, or other suitable adhesive. In some instances, no intervening isolation layers or substrates are provided between the pressure sensing die 18 and the package substrate 12, but this is not required. Thermal and mechanical stresses may be minimized by careful design of the entire package. The ceramic substrate 12 itself may be thick relative to its surface area to help improve stability. In some embodiments, the pressure sensing die 18 may include a silicon material, and the package substrate 12 may include an alumina ceramic, which may have similar temperature expansion coefficients. The pressure sensing die 18 and package substrate 12, however, may be made of materials other than those stated herein. Additionally, it is contemplated that an isolation layer or glass substrate may be provided in pressure sensor 41, if desired.

    [0018] The pressure sensing die 18 is mounted over an opening 24 in the package substrate 12 that is sized to expose the back side of the pressure sensing diaphragm 26 to the bottom side of the package substrate 12. In this instance, a pressure applied to the back side of pressure sensor 41 is transmitted to the back side of pressure sensing diaphragm 26 via passivating agent 13 and opening 24.

    [0019] In the illustrative embodiment, a protective housing of the pressure sensor 41 is provided. The protective housing includes a top protective cover 14 defining a cavity 28 for the pressure sensing die 18 and a bottom protective cover 16 defining cavity 29. As illustrated, the top protective cover 14 is disposed on a top side of the substrate 12. The bottom protective cover 16 is disposed on a bottom side of the substrate 12. With such a configuration, the top and bottom protective covers 14 and 16 may help protect the pressure sensing element of pressure die 18. In some cases, the top protective cover 14 and the bottom protective cover 16 may be formed from, for example, plastic, polyamide, ceramic, or any other suitable material. In some cases, these covers may be attached to the substrate with the same or substantially the same "footprint" on each side, but this is not required.

    [0020] In the illustrative embodiment shown in Figure 1, the top protective cover 14 may includes an inner housing member 17 and an outer housing member 19, but this is not required. The inner housing member 17 may include a top wall and one or more side walls defining a cavity 28 for housing the pressure sensing die 18. The top wall of the inner housing member 17 defines a pressure opening 20 for exposing the pressure sensing element (e.g. top side of pressure sensing diaphragm 26) to a first input pressure of a media. The inner housing member 17 may be attached to the package substrate 12 using a suitable adhesive or any other suitable bonding mechanism (e.g. solder, eutectic, etc.). In some cases, the inner housing member 17 may be attached to the package substrate 12, and then the outer housing member 19 may be mounted over the assembled inner housing member 17 and packaged substrate 12. In other instances, it is contemplated that the inner housing member 17 and the outer housing member 19 may be attached to the package substrate 12 at the same time. While the inner housing member 17 and the outer housing member 19 are shown as separate members, it is contemplated that inner housing member 17 and outer housing member 19 may form a single part, if desired. In some cases, the outer housing member 19 may not be provided at all.

    [0021] In the illustrative embodiment of Figure 1, the bottom protective cover 16 defines a cavity 29 and also include a pressure opening 22 for exposing the pressure sensing element (e.g. bottom side of pressure sensing diaphragm 26) to a second input pressure. The bottom protective cover 16 may include a single part, but this is not required. In some cases, the bottom protective cover 16 may include an inner housing member and an outer housing member similar to the top protective cover 14 as discussed above.

    [0022] In Figure 1, the pressure sensing element is configured to sense a pressure differential between the pressure opening 20 and the pressure opening 22. A signal corresponding to the sensed pressure difference may be transmitted to an optional signal conditioning circuitry 36 for conditioning.

    [0023] In some embodiments, the inner housing member 17 may include one or more tapered and/or chamfered edges 21 that define pressure opening 20. The one or more tapered and/or chamfered edges 21 may be angled away from an axis extending perpendicular to the substrate 12, as shown. In this configuration, the one or more tapered and/or chamfered edges 21 may help provide freeze damage protection to the pressure sensor 41 by, for example, providing a relief so that when a freezing media expands, the freezing media is directed away from the pressure sensor. Said another way, tapered and/or chamfered edges 21 may cause a freezing media to expand out of the pressure sensor.

    [0024] As shown in Figure 1, only the top protective cover 14 includes the tapered and/or chamfered edges 21, however, bottom protective cover 16 may also include tapered and/or chamfered edges, if desired.

    [0025] In the illustrative embodiment, cavity 28 and cavity 29 are at least partially filled with a passivating agent 13 or coating, which may include a gel or other passivating agent. In some cases, the passivating agent 13 may include an incompressible material to transmit pressures from openings 20 and 22 to the pressure sensing diaphragm 26. Opening 24 and the back side of pressure sensing die 18 are filled with passivating agent 13.

    [0026] In some cases, the passivating agent 13 may help isolate the pressure sensing die 18, signal conditioning circuitry 36, and/or other electronics from a sensed media. Example passivating agents may include gels, such as a fluorosilicone gel. Some example gels include Sylgard® 527 and TSE 118, which are available from Dow Corning Corporation. In some cases, the top side and bottom side of pressure sensor 41 may be filled with different passivating agents 13 or gels. For example, cavity 28 may be filled with a first gel, such as Sylgard® 527, and cavity 29 may be filled with a second gel, such as TSE 118. In some cases, filling both cavities 28 and 29 of pressure sensor with the same passivating agent 13 with the same thickness may help stabilize the pressure sensor 10 for age (e.g. drift), help equalize and cancel out the stress caused by the passivating agent 13 at the sensing element, and/or help reduce temperature (e.g. thermal expansion) induced variations in the sensor.

    [0027] As shown in Figure 1, pressure sensor 41 has a capacitor 42 or other electrical components mounted on a back side of package substrate 12. The passivating agent 13 has a greater thickness around the capacitor 42 or other electrical components than over opening 24. In some cases, the passivating agent 13 may have a thickness in the range of about 0.1 to about 0.25 millimeters over the opening 24 and a thickness in the range of about 0.25 to about 1.0 millimeters over the capacitor 42. However, it is contemplated that any suitable thickness may be used for passivating agent 13, as desired.

    [0028] In the illustrative embodiment, the passivating agent 13 may be filled and/or processed to reduce air and/or bubbles from being trapped in passivating agent 13 within the cavities 28 and 29. Example procedures to reduce air and/or bubbles may include filling the cavities 28 and 29 with the passivating agent 13 under a vacuum, pulling a vacuum on the passivating agent 13 prior to curing, curing the passivating agent 13 under a vacuum (e.g. outgas during curing), and/or using any other suitable procedure, as desired.

    [0029] In operation, a first pressure may be applied to passivating agent 13 in opening 20 defined by top cover 14, which is transmitted to a first side of the pressure sensing diaphragm 26 via cavity 28. A second pressure may be applied to passivating agent 13 in opening 22 defined by bottom cover 16, which is transmitted through cavity 29 to a second side of the pressure sensing diaphragm 26. A pressure difference between the first pressure and second pressure can cause a deflection of pressure sensing diaphragm 26, which may then stress one or more piezoresistive elements on the pressure sensing diaphragm 26. Applying a current through the piezoresistive elements may provide a signal that corresponds to the pressure difference between the first pressure and the second pressure. In some cases, the resulting signal may be conditioned by conditioning circuitry 36 and output via electrical leads 30 (shown in Figure 2).

    [0030] In the illustrative embodiment of Figure 1, the pressure sensing element is a differential pressure sensing element.

    [0031] Figures 2 and 3 are top and bottom perspective views of the illustrative pressure sensor 41. As shown, pressure sensor may include an outer protective housing including a top protective cover 14 and a bottom protective cover 16. As illustrated, the top protective cover 14 is disposed on a top side of the substrate 12 to help protect the pressure sensing die 18 and signal conditioning circuitry 36 that may be positioned on the top side of the substrate 12. The bottom protective cover 16 is disposed on a bottom side of the substrate 12 to protect the bottom side of the substrate 12. In some cases, the top protective cover 14 and the bottom protective cover 16 may be formed from, for example, plastic. However, it is contemplated that any other suitable material may be used, as desired.

    [0032] In the illustrative embodiment of Figure 2, the top protective cover 14 includes outer housing member 19 and inner housing member 17. The inner housing member 17 defines a cavity 28 and a pressure opening 20 for exposing the pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26) to a first pressure (see also Figure 1).

    [0033] Cavity 28 is at least partially filled with passivating agent 13, or gel, to transmit the pressure from the pressure opening 20 to the top side of the pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26). As illustrated in Figure 3, the bottom protective cover 16 defines a cavity 29 and a pressure opening 22 for exposing the pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26) to a second pressure. Cavity 29 defined by the bottom protective cover 16 is at least partially filled with passivating agent 13, or gel, to transmit the pressure from the pressure opening 22 to the bottom side of pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26) via opening 24. The pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26) may be configured to sense a pressure differential across pressure opening 20 and pressure opening 22. A signal corresponding to the sensed pressure difference may, in some cases, be transmitted to signal conditioning circuitry 36 for conditioning.

    [0034] In the illustrative embodiment of Figure 2, the pressure sensor assembly 41 may include one or more electrical leads 30 mounted to the substrate 12 and electrically connected to the signal conditioning circuitry 36 for receiving a conditioned signal corresponding to the pressure sensed by the sensing element. In some cases, the one or more electrical leads 30 may include a metal, however, any suitable material may be used, as desired.

    [0035] Figures 4 and 5 are top and bottom perspective views of the inner housing member 17 shown in Figures 1 and 2. In the illustrative embodiment, the inner housing member 17 may include a top wall and one or more side walls. The top wall may include opening 20 defined by one or more edges 21. As illustrated, edges 21 may be tapered and/or chamfered such that the top side of opening 20 is larger than the bottom side of opening 20. In some cases, the tapered and/or chamfered edges 21 may be generally ice cube tray shaped such that if a liquid media in contact with the passivating agent 13 freezes and expands, the media expands out of the opening 20 and not toward the substrate. In some cases, the walls of the inner housing member 17 may be relatively thin to help absorb the thermal expansion.

    [0036] In the illustrative embodiment, the one or more side walls may include an inner surface defining cavity 28 for housing the pressure sensing die 18, optional signal conditioning circuitry 36, and any other suitable electronics, as desired. As discussed above, cavity 28 may be at least partially filled with a passivating agent 13 or gel when assembled on substrate 12. In some embodiments, to reduce air or other bubbles from being trapped within the passivating agent or gel, the side walls may be chamfered or rounded to aid in releasing air from the cavity.

    [0037] Figures 6-10 are top perspective views of illustrative pressure sensors including alternative inner housing members. As shown in the illustrative embodiments, the inner housing members may include a top wall having one or more openings for exposing the passivating agent 13 to media pressure and/or for filling the top cavity (shown as cavity 28 in Figure 1) with the passivating agent 13. In some instances, the top wall may be formed to help protect the passivating agent 13 from being damaged when handled by a user or from other objects that may contact the top of the pressure sensor.

    [0038] As shown in Figure 6, pressure sensor 50 may include an inner housing member 52 having multiple small openings 54 (relative to opening 20 shown in Figure 2) defined by one or more edges 56. In the illustrative example, inner housing member 52 includes five openings, however, it is contemplated that more openings or fewer openings may be provided, as desired. Openings 54 may be configured to allow passivating agent 13 to still sufficiently transmit pressure to pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26), but may also provide increased protection to passivating agent 13. While edges 56 are not shown as being tapered or chamfered, it is contemplated that edges may be tapered and/or chamfered to help provide freeze damage protection, as described above.

    [0039] Figure 7 shows another illustrative pressure sensor 60 including an inner housing member 62 having an opening 54 defined by one or more edges 66. As shown, opening 64 may be similar in shape to opening 20 shown in Figure 2, except opening 64 is smaller. Opening 64 may still allow passivating agent 13 to sufficiently transmit pressure to pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26), while providing increased protection to passivating agent 13. As shown, edges 66 are tapered and/or chamfered to provide freeze protection, but this is not required.

    [0040] Figure 8 shows another illustrative pressure sensor 70 including an inner housing member 72 having multiple openings 74 and 76. As shown, inner housing member 72 may include a pair of openings 74 defined by edges 73 and a central opening 76 defined by edges 75. Openings 74 may be generally oval in shape and opening 76 may be generally circular in shape. However, it is contemplated that openings 74 and 76 may be other shapes, such as, for example, rectangular shapes. In any event, openings 74 and 76 may still allow passivating agent 13 to sufficiently transmit pressure to pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26), while providing increased protection to passivating agent 13. While edges 73 and 75 are not shown as being tapered or chamfered, it is contemplated that edges may be tapered and/or chamfered, as desired.

    [0041] Figures 9 and 10 show other illustrative pressure sensors 80 and 90 including inner housing members 82 and 92, respectively. As shown, inner housing members 82 and 92 may be similar to inner housing member 17, but may each include a pair of opposing wings 88 and 98 extending into openings 84 and 94 reducing the size of the openings. Inner housing member 82, shown in Figure 9, may also include opposing wings 86 extending into opening 84 to further reduce the size of opening 84, if desired. Openings 84 and 94 may still allow passivating agent 13 to sufficiently transmit pressure to pressure sensing element (e.g. pressure sensing diaphragm 26), while providing increased protection to passivating agent 13. While openings 84 and 94 are not shown as including tapered or chamfered edges, it is contemplated that edges may be tapered and/or chamfered, as desired.

    [0042] Further, while openings 54, 64, 74, 76, 84 and 94 are shown as being formed in the top protective cover 14, it is contemplated that the bottom protective cover 16 may include similar openings, as desired.

    [0043] Having thus described the preferred embodiments of the present disclosure, those of skill in the art will readily appreciate that yet other embodiments may be made and used within the scope of the claims hereto attached. Numerous advantages of the disclosure covered by this document have been set forth in the foregoing description. It will be understood, however, that this disclosure is, in many respect, only illustrative. Changes may be made in details, particularly in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts without exceeding the scope of the disclosure. The disclosure's scope is, of course, defined in the language in which the appended claims are expressed.


    Claims

    1. A pressure sensor (41) comprising:

    a substrate (12) including a first side and a second side, the substrate (12) including an opening (24) extending between the first side and the second side;

    a pressure sensing die (18) mounted directly on the first side of the substrate (12), wherein the pressure sensing die (18) includes a diaphragm and one or more piezoresistive elements positioned on the diaphragm, wherein the pressure sensing die (18) is positioned over the opening (24);

    a first housing member positioned on the first side of the substrate (12) and defining a first cavity (28) around the pressure sensing die (18), wherein the first housing member includes a first pressure opening (20) defined by one or more first edges (21) of the first housing member;

    a first passivating agent (13) positioned in the first cavity (28) to cover at least part of the pressure sensing die (18) and at least part of the first side of the substrate (12);

    a second housing member positioned on the second side of the substrate (12) and defining a second cavity (29), wherein the second housing member includes a second pressure opening (22) defined by one or more second edges (21) of the second housing member; and

    a second passivating agent (13) positioned in the second cavity (29) to cover at least part of the second side of the substrate (12);

    characterized in that the pressure sensor further comprises:

    a capacitor or other electrical component (42) mounted on the second side of the substrate (12), wherein the second passivating agent (13) has a greater thickness around the capacitor or other electrical component (42) than over the opening (24), wherein the thickness is a measurement of depth extending away from the second side of the substrate (12)


     
    2. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein the one or more first edges (21) are tapered and/or chamfered.
     
    3. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein the first passivating agent (13) in the first cavity (28) is configured to transmit pressure from the first pressure opening (20) to a top side of the diaphragm.
     
    4. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 3, wherein the second passivating agent (13) in the second cavity (29) is configured to transmit pressure from the second pressure opening (22) to a bottom side of the diaphragm via the opening (24) in the substrate (12).
     
    5. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein the second passivating agent (13) has a first thickness in the second cavity (29) from 0.1 millimeter to 0.25 millimeter over the opening (24) and wherein the second passivating agent (13) has a thickness in the second cavity (29) from 0.25 millimeter to 1.0 millimeter over the capacitor or other electrical component (42).
     
    6. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein the substrate (12) includes a ceramic material.
     
    7. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein an adhesive (32) for mounting the pressure sensing die (18) to the first side of the substrate (12) is RTV.
     
    8. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, further comprising signal conditioning circuitry (36) mounted on the first side of the substrate (12) in electrical communication with the pressure sensing die (18).
     
    9. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 8, wherein the signal conditioning circuitry (36) is configured receive a signal from the pressure sensing die (18) and condition the signal to provide a conditioned output signal from the pressure sensor (10).
     
    10. The pressure sensor (41) of claim 1, wherein the first and second passivating agents (13) includes a gel.
     
    11. The pressure sensor (41) claim 8, wherein the gel includes a fluorosilicone gel.
     
    12. A method of manufacturing a pressure sensor (41), the method comprising:

    mounting a pressure sensing die (18) on a first side of a substrate (12), wherein the pressure sensing die (18) includes a pressure sensing diaphragm (26);

    mounting a first housing member on the first side of the substrate (12) to form a first cavity (28) around the pressure sensing die (18), wherein the first housing member includes a first pressure opening (20) defined by one or more first edges (21) of the first housing member;

    filling at least a portion of the first cavity (28) with a first gel to cover at least part of the pressure sensing die (18);

    mounting a second housing member on a second side of the substrate (12) to form a second cavity (29), wherein the second housing member includes a second pressure opening (22) defined by one or more second edges (21) of the second housing member; and

    filling at least a portion of the second cavity (29) with a second gel;

    characterized in that:

    a capacitor or other electrical component (42) is mounted on the second side of the substrate (12), wherein the second gel has a greater thickness around the capacitor or other electrical component (42) than over an opening (24) in the substrate (12), wherein the thickness is a measurement of depth extending away from the second side of the substrate (12).


     
    13. The method of claim 12, wherein the one or more first edges (21) are tapered and/or chamfered.
     
    14. The method of claim 12, wherein the first gel comprises fluorosilicone gel.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Drucksensor (41), umfassend:

    ein Substrat (12) mit einer ersten Seite und einer zweiten Seite, wobei das Substrat (12) eine Öffnung (24) einschließt, die sich zwischen der ersten Seite und der zweiten Seite erstreckt;

    einen direkt auf der ersten Seite des Substrats (12) angebrachten Druckmesschip (18), wobei der Druckmesschip (18) eine Membran und ein oder mehrere auf der Membran angeordnete piezoresistive Elemente einschließt, wobei der Druckmesschip (18) über der Öffnung (24) angeordnet ist;

    ein erstes Gehäuseelement, das auf der ersten Seite des Substrats (12) positioniert ist und einen ersten Hohlraum (28) um den Druckmesschip (18) herum definiert, wobei das erste Gehäuseelement eine erste Drucköffnung (20) einschließt, die durch eine oder mehrere erste Kanten (21) des ersten Gehäuseelements definiert ist;

    ein erstes Passivierungsmittel (13), das in dem ersten Hohlraum (28) angeordnet ist, um mindestens einen Teil des Druckmesschips (18) und mindestens einen Teil der ersten Seite des Substrats (12) abzudecken;

    ein zweites Gehäuseelement, das auf der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) angeordnet ist und einen zweiten Hohlraum (29) definiert, wobei das zweite Gehäuseelement eine zweite Drucköffnung (22) einschließt, die durch eine oder mehrere zweite Kanten (21) des zweiten Gehäuseelements definiert ist; und

    ein zweites Passivierungsmittel (13), das in dem zweiten Hohlraum (29) angeordnet ist, um mindestens einen Teil der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) abzudecken; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der Drucksensor ferner umfasst:
    einen Kondensator oder eine andere elektrische Komponente (42), die auf der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) angebracht ist, wobei das zweite Passivierungsmittel (13) eine größere Dicke um den Kondensator oder eine andere elektrische Komponente (42) als über der Öffnung (24) aufweist, wobei die Dicke ein Maß für die Tiefe ist, die sich von der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) weg erstreckt.


     
    2. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die eine oder mehreren ersten Kanten (21) verjüngt und/oder abgeschrägt sind.
     
    3. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste Passivierungsmittel (13) in dem ersten Hohlraum (28) konfiguriert ist, um Druck von der ersten Drucköffnung (20) zu einer Oberseite der Membran zu übertragen.
     
    4. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 3, wobei das zweite Passivierungsmittel (13) in dem zweiten Hohlraum (29) konfiguriert ist, um Druck von der zweiten Drucköffnung (22) zu einer Unterseite der Membran über die Öffnung (24) in dem Substrat (12) zu übertragen.
     
    5. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das zweite Passivierungsmittel (13) eine erste Dicke in dem zweiten Hohlraum (29) von 0,1 Millimeter bis 0,25 Millimeter über der Öffnung (24) aufweist und wobei das zweite Passivierungsmittel (13) eine Dicke in dem zweiten Hohlraum (29) von 0,25 Millimeter bis 1,0 Millimeter über dem Kondensator oder einer anderen elektrischen Komponente (42) aufweist.
     
    6. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Substrat (12) ein Keramikmaterial einschließt.
     
    7. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei ein Klebstoff (32) zum Anbringen des Druckmesschips (18) an der ersten Seite des Substrats (12) RTV ist.
     
    8. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, der ferner eine Signalaufbereitungsschaltung (36) umfasst, die auf der ersten Seite des Substrats (12) in elektrischer Verbindung mit dem Druckmesschip (18) angebracht ist.
     
    9. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Signalaufbereitungsschaltung (36) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie ein Signal von dem Druckmesschip (18) empfängt und das Signal aufbereitet, um ein aufbereitetes Ausgangssignal von dem Drucksensor (10) bereitzustellen.
     
    10. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste und das zweite Passivierungsmittel (13) ein Gel einschließt.
     
    11. Drucksensor (41) nach Anspruch 8, wobei das Gel ein Fluorsilikongel einschließt.
     
    12. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines Drucksensors (41), wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Anbringen eines Druckmesschips (18) auf einer ersten Seite eines Substrats (12), wobei der Druckmesschip (18) eine Druckmessmembran (26) einschließt;

    Anbringen eines ersten Gehäuseelements auf der ersten Seite des Substrats (12), um einen ersten Hohlraum (28) um den Druckmesschip (18) herum zu bilden, wobei das erste Gehäuseelement eine erste Drucköffnung (20) einschließt, die durch eine oder mehrere erste Kanten (21) des ersten Gehäuseelements definiert ist;

    Füllen mindestens eines Abschnitts des ersten Hohlraums (28) mit einem ersten Gel, um mindestens einen Teil des Druckmesschips (18) abzudecken;

    Anbringen eines zweiten Gehäuseelements auf einer zweiten Seite des Substrats (12), um einen zweiten Hohlraum (29) zu bilden, wobei das zweite Gehäuseelement eine zweite Drucköffnung (22) einschließt, die durch eine oder mehrere zweite Kanten (21) des zweiten Gehäuseelements definiert ist; und

    Füllen mindestens eines Abschnitts des zweiten Hohlraums (29) mit einem zweiten Gel; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    ein Kondensator oder eine andere elektrische Komponente (42) auf der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) angebracht ist, wobei das zweite Gel eine größere Dicke um den Kondensator oder eine andere elektrische Komponente (42) aufweist als über einer Öffnung (24) im Substrat (12), wobei die Dicke ein Maß für die Tiefe ist, die sich von der zweiten Seite des Substrats (12) weg erstreckt.


     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, wobei die eine oder mehreren ersten Kanten (21) verjüngt und/oder abgeschrägt sind.
     
    14. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, wobei das erste Gel Fluorsilikongel umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Capteur de pression (41) comprenant :

    un substrat (12) comprenant un premier côté et un second côté, le substrat (12) comprenant une ouverture (24) s'étendant entre le premier côté et le second côté ;

    une matrice de détection de pression (18) montée directement sur le premier côté du substrat (12), dans lequel la matrice de détection de pression (18) comprend un diaphragme et un ou plusieurs éléments piézorésistifs positionnés sur le diaphragme, dans lequel la matrice de détection de pression (18) est positionnée sur l'ouverture (24) ;

    un premier élément de boîtier positionné sur le premier côté du substrat (12) et définissant une première cavité (28) autour de la matrice de détection de pression (18), dans lequel le premier élément de boîtier comprend une première ouverture de pression (20) définie par un ou plusieurs premiers bords (21) du premier élément de boîtier ;

    un premier agent de passivation (13) positionné dans la première cavité (28) pour couvrir au moins une partie de la matrice de détection de pression (18) et au moins une partie du premier côté du substrat (12) ;

    un second élément de boîtier positionné sur le second côté du substrat (12) et définissant une seconde cavité (29), dans lequel le second élément de boîtier comprend une seconde ouverture de pression (22) définie par un ou plusieurs seconds bords (21) du second élément de boîtier ; et

    un second agent de passivation (13) positionné dans la seconde cavité (29) pour couvrir au moins une partie du second côté du substrat (12) ; caractérisé en ce que le capteur de pression comprend en outre :
    un condensateur ou autre composant électrique (42) monté sur le second côté du substrat (12), dans lequel le second agent de passivation (13) a une épaisseur plus grande autour du condensateur ou autre composant électrique (42) que sur l'ouverture (24), dans lequel l'épaisseur est une mesure de profondeur s'étendant à partir du second côté du substrat (12).


     
    2. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le ou les premiers bords (21) sont effilés et/ou chanfreinés.
     
    3. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier agent de passivation (13) dans la première cavité (28) est conçu pour transmettre la pression, de la première ouverture de pression (20) vers un côté supérieur du diaphragme.
     
    4. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le second agent de passivation (13) dans la seconde cavité (29) est conçu pour transmettre la pression, de la seconde ouverture de pression (22) vers un côté inférieur du diaphragme via l'ouverture (24) dans le substrat (12).
     
    5. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le second agent de passivation (13) a une première épaisseur dans la seconde cavité (29), de 0,1 millimètre à 0,25 millimètre au-dessus de l'ouverture (24) et dans lequel le second agent de passivation (13) a une épaisseur dans la seconde cavité (29), de 0,25 millimètre à 1,0 millimètre, au-dessus du condensateur ou autre composant électrique (42).
     
    6. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le substrat (12) comprend un matériau céramique.
     
    7. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un adhésif (32) pour monter la matrice de détection de pression (18) sur le premier côté du substrat (12) est du RTV.
     
    8. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre des circuits de conditionnement de signal (36) montés sur le premier côté du substrat (12), en communication électrique avec la matrice de détection de pression (18).
     
    9. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel les circuits de conditionnement de signal (36) sont conçus pour recevoir un signal de la matrice de détection de pression (18) et conditionner le signal pour fournir un signal de sortie conditionné du capteur de pression (10).
     
    10. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les premier et second agents de passivation (13) comprennent un gel.
     
    11. Capteur de pression (41) selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le gel comprend un gel de fluorosilicone.
     
    12. Procédé de fabrication d'un capteur de pression (41), le procédé comprenant :

    le montage d'une matrice de détection de pression (18) sur un premier côté d'un substrat (12), dans lequel la matrice de détection de pression (18) comprend un diaphragme de détection de pression (26) ;

    le montage d'un premier élément de boîtier sur le premier côté du substrat (12) pour former une première cavité (28) autour de la matrice de détection de pression (18), dans lequel le premier élément de boîtier comprend une première ouverture de pression (20) définie par un ou plusieurs premiers bords (21) du premier élément de boîtier ;

    le remplissage d'au moins une portion de la première cavité (28) avec un premier gel pour couvrir au moins une partie de la matrice de détection de pression (18) ;

    le montage d'un second élément de boîtier sur un second côté du substrat (12) pour former une seconde cavité (29), dans lequel le second élément de boîtier comprend une seconde ouverture de pression (22) définie par un ou plusieurs seconds bords (21) du second élément de boîtier ; et

    le remplissage d'au moins une portion de la seconde cavité (29) avec un second gel, caractérisé en ce que :
    un condensateur ou autre composant électrique (42) est monté sur le second côté du substrat (12), dans lequel le second gel a une plus grande épaisseur autour du condensateur ou autre composant électrique (42) qu'au-dessus d'une ouverture (24) dans le substrat (12), dans lequel l'épaisseur est une mesure de profondeur s'étendant à partir du second côté du substrat (12).


     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le ou les premiers bords (21) sont effilés et/ou chanfreinés.
     
    14. Procédé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le premier gel comprend du gel de fluorosilicone.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description