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Fabrication and Material-Centric Design of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Enabled Micromechanical Resonators

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Newly-developed microfabrication processes for micromechanical resonators and resonator arrays enabled by nano-scale thin films deposited through atomic layer deposition (ALD) method have been introduced for the purpose of improving the overall performance. Due to versatility of the ALD process, a variety of transducer materials have been employed as building blocks for implementation of both piezoelectrically-transduced and capacitively-actuated resonators. For the case of piezoelectrically-transduced resonators, a pre-treatment via ALD pin-hole free and uniform ZnO seed layer followed by a ZnO sputtering process, was utilized to obtain high quality c-axis oriented piezoelectric film. For capacitively-transduced resonators, ALD process also greatly facilitates the fabrication of nano-scale solid-gap filled with high-k dielectric material to take advantage of the outstanding conformity, uniformity and thickness controllability. A new class of these resonator devices was fabricated on a commercial SOI substrate through a combination of deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) and ALD process to form high-aspect-ratio capacitive transducers, which has fewer process steps as well as great promise for enhancing the transducer efficiency. Additionally, similar resonators were constructed in electroplated Ni as structural material with the process temperature as low as 40 °C, which is well-suited for post-CMOS MEMS fabrication. Besides the aforementioned material-centric strategies, an array of mechanically-coupled resonators was designed and fabricated to further enhance the output signal strength of the on-chip composite resonator by lowering the overall motional resistance.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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