A novel subminiature pressure sensor for blood pressure measurement has been fabricated. The device is only 250 microns wide and 70 microns thick. It is 1.1 mm in length. The sensor is housed in a guide-wire lead for use in measuring coronary artery blood pressure. The device has a 5 micron thick silicon diaphragm and senses pressure using a 1/2 bridge piezoresistive network. Glass is processed to provide depressions above the sensing area as well as above the connection area of the device. A full-thickness silicon wafer is processed using standard micromachining techniques. V-Groove notches are micro-machined on the top surface of the silicon to provide locators/guides for the lead-wires. Diaphragm windows are patterned on the back of the silicon wafer and the wafer is etched down to form the 5 micron diaphragm, using electro-chemical etch-stop techniques. The Glass and Silicon wafers are aggressively cleaned prior to bond. The glass and silicon wafers are then precisely aligned to better than 10 microns and bonded using anodic bonding techniques.
The glass/silicon wafer sandwich then has the silicon thinned from 400 microns to 37 microns using both grinding and polishing. Then the full-thickness glass wafer is etched in HF to a thickness of 37 microns as well, for a composite 74-micron thick structure. The wafer is then diced to form the micro-mechanical structure.