1999 Volume 119 Issue 3 Pages 125-130
This paper describes the design, the fabrication, and the characterization of a micro mechanical acoustic sensor modeling the basilar membrane of human cochlea. This work aims at the implementation of human cochlear system on a silicon chip. The acoustic sensor is an array of resonators whose frequency selectivity is associated with the one-way flow of vibration energy. The mechanical structure of the sensor is designed using FEM analysis to have a particular geometrical structure looking like a fish bone that consists of cantilever ribs extending out from a backbone. The skeleton of the sensor is fabricated using silicon micromachining technology. We observed the frequency response of each resonator to pure tones to verify fairly sharp frequency selectivity. The present results encourage us in our trials to integrate human auditory system on a silicon chip toward the goal of artificial cochlea.