The patent's assignee for patent number 8485041 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a pressure sensor system.
"Such sensor systems are generally known. For example, a sensor and a method for manufacturing a sensor are known from the published German patent application document DE 102 26 034 A1, the sensor including a semiconductor material having a first thickness, and having a second thickness in a diaphragm region, the second thickness being smaller than the first thickness. The sensor includes an open cavern in the diaphragm region due to the second thickness. The diaphragm region is deformable perpendicularly to the substrate as a function of the pressure in the open cavern, means being provided for measuring the deformation of the diaphragm region in the transition region between the first and the second thickness. One disadvantage of this sensor is that the diaphragm region may be used only for determining a relative pressure difference between the pressure in the open cavern and the pressure on the other side of the diaphragm region, i.e., the side facing away from the open cavern, while for determining an absolute pressure in the open cavern, hermetically sealed capping must be provided on the other side of the diaphragm region. The manufacture and installation of the capping is comparatively complicated and costly due to the requirements for seal-tightness of the capping."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The sensor system according to the present invention, the method according to the present invention for operating a sensor system, and the method according to the present invention for manufacturing a sensor system have the advantage over the related art that an absolute pressure may be measured in a comparatively simple and cost-effective manner, the absolute pressure to be measured including in particular a comparatively high pressure. In addition, as the result of integrating the second diaphragm region and the cavern into the first diaphragm region, a comparatively compact sensor system is possible, and capping of the sensor may be dispensed with completely, so that the manufacturing costs may be reduced and system integration is greatly simplified; for the integration of the sensor system into a vehicle, compactness and ease of integration are of great technical and economic interest due to the limited available installation space in the vehicle. This is achieved by integrating the second diaphragm region and the cavern into the material of the first diaphragm region, so that the first diaphragm region carries out a relative pressure measurement, preferably between a first pressure on the first side and a second pressure on the second side of the substrate or in a trench on the second side due to a deformation perpendicular to the main plane of extension, while an absolute pressure measurement between the second pressure and a third pressure, i.e., a reference pressure, in the cavern is possible due to the integration of the second diaphragm region and the cavern into the first diaphragm region. The cavern preferably extends essentially parallel to the main plane of extension. In addition, the cavern in particular is enclosed completely, i.e., in all spatial directions, by the first diaphragm region, so that no additional substrate surface area besides the first diaphragm region is necessary for carrying out the absolute pressure measurement.
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