Thin-Film PZT based Multi-Channel Acoustic MEMS Transducer for Cochlear Implant Applications

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Yüksel M. B., Koyuncuoglu A., Külah H.

IEEE Sensors Journal, vol.22, pp.3052-3060, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/jsen.2021.3130953
  • Journal Name: IEEE Sensors Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.3052-3060
  • Keywords: Transducers, Ear, Auditory system, Sensors, Cochlear implants, Resonant frequency, Micromechanical devices, Acoustic transducer, fully implantable cochlear implant, MEMS, thin film piezoelectric, MASS
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


AuthorThis paper presents a multi-channel acoustic transducer that works within the audible frequency range (250-5500 Hz) and mimics the operation of the cochlea by filtering incoming sound. The transducer is composed of eight thin film piezoelectric cantilever beams with different resonance frequencies. The transducer is well suited to be implanted in middle ear cavity with an active volume of 5 mm × 5 mm × 0.62 mm and mass of 4.8 mg. Resonance frequencies and piezoelectric outputs of the beams are modeled with Finite Element Method (FEM). Vibration experiments showed that the transducer is capable of generating up to 139.36 mVpp under 0.1 g excitation. Test results are consistent with the FEM model on frequency (97%) and output voltage (89%) values. Device was further tested with acoustic excitation on an artificial tympanic membrane and flexible substrate. Under acoustic excitation, 50.7 mVpp output voltage generated under 100 dB Sound Pressure Level (SPL). Output voltages observed in acoustical and mechanical characterizations are the highest values reported to the best of our knowledge. Finally, to assess the feasibility of the transducer in daily sound levels, it was excited with a speech sample and output signal was recovered. Time-domain waveforms of the recorded and recovered signals showed close patterns.