Image Number 9 for United States Patent #6647795.
A capacitive physical load sensor includes a substrate, which has fixed electrodes, and a diaphragm, which has movable electrodes. The diaphragm is located across a gap from the substrate, and retaining parts for the diaphragm are formed around the diaphragm. Protruding parts extend into the gap from the diaphragm or from the substrate. The protruding parts support the diaphragm at different levels of deformation to alter the characteristics of the diaphragm and extend its range.