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MEMS: From Micro Devices to Wireless Systems

Vol. 7, Special Issue, October 2009, pp.170-178





Hearing Aid Sensitivity Optimization on Dual MEMS Microphones Using Nano-Electrodeposits


Sang-Soo JE, Jeonghwan KIM, Michael N. KOZICKI, and Junseok CHAE

Department of Electrical Engineering, Arizona State University,

650 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA

Tel.: +1-480-370-7182

E-mail: sje01@asu.edu



Received: 28 August 2009   /Accepted: 28 September 2009   /Published: 12 October 2009


Abstract: We present an in-situ sensitivity tuning method for MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) microphones via the growth/retraction of nano-electrodeposits to achieve high directionality in hearing aid applications. Nano-electrodeposits are electrochemically grown and dissolved on an Ag-doped Ge-Se solid electrolyte film on a microphone diaphragm using a DC bias at room temperature. The growth and retraction of the nano-electrodeposits generate mass/stress redistribution on the diaphragm, tuning the microphone sensitivity to incoming acoustic sources. Acoustic measurements demonstrate that the directional microphone can achieve a 1.3 dB Directivity Index (DI) improvement upon nano-electrodeposit growth and 0.9 dB DI reversal on nano-electrodeposit retraction.


Keywords: Micro-electromechanical systems microphone, Nano-electrodeposits growth and retraction, Sensitivity adjustment, Sensitivity tuning, Directivity index


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