3D Multiphysics Model of Thermal Flow Sensors

C. Falco[1], A. De Luca[1], S. Sarfraz[1], F. Udrea[1]
[1]University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Published in 2014

The aim of this work is to present a model capable to describe the behaviour of a thermal flow sensor under every physical aspect.

A generic thermal flow sensor relates the flow properties with a variation in the temperature profile inside the device itself. Thus, it is locally heated up with a resistive element biased with an external current, surrounded by one or more temperature sensing elements.

The analysis involves three different and coupled physic domains: electric current, heat transfer in solids and laminar flow. Once ready, it has been used to model an existing SOI CMOS MEMS wall shear stress sensor. Results shows a perfect agreement with the experimental data under every condition, proving the validity of the model.