Microelectromecahanical system (MEMS) actuation is a growing area of research. One obstacle for use of actuation in MEMS applications is the difficulty of proper sensing. Recent work has been done that shows the potential for thermomechanical in-plane microactuators (TIMs) to act as self-sensors by using the piezoresistive characteristic of silicon. However, in order to implement this technology a calibration method needs to be devised to account for variations between TIMs. This work presents an approach for this calibration consisting of two parts that compensate for variation in fabrication and material properties. Test structures are presented that will enable this calibration to be done on-chip, and validation is given for the usability of this approach. Two validation approaches are used. For the first approach, data previously gathered was analyzed using the TIM itself for calibration. This approach showed significant correlation with the model; however, this approach confounds any sensing signal and therefore was used only for general model validation. The second approach uses a novel calibration structure that decouples the mechanical and electrical characteristics. This approach showed correlation with test data within the bounds of experimental uncertainty in nearly all cases. Suggestions are given concerning implementation.

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