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50 nm thick AlN film-based piezoelectric cantilevers for gravimetric detection

Ivaldi, P. and Abergel, J. and Matheny, M. H. and Villanueva, L. G. and Karabalin, R. B. and Roukes, M. L. and Andreucci, P. and Hentz, S. and Defaÿ, E. (2011) 50 nm thick AlN film-based piezoelectric cantilevers for gravimetric detection. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 21 (8). Art. No. 085023. ISSN 0960-1317. doi:10.1088/0960-1317/21/8/085023.

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Due to low power operation, intrinsic integrability and compatibility with CMOS processing, aluminum nitride (AlN) piezoelectric (PZE) microcantilevers are a very attractive paradigm for resonant gas sensing. In this paper, we theoretically investigate their ultimate limit of detection and enunciate design rules for performance optimization. The reduction of the AlN layer thickness is found to be critical. We further report the successful development and implementation in cantilever structures with a 50 nm thick active PZE AlN layer. Material characterizations demonstrate that the PZE e_(31) coefficient can remain as high as 0.8 C m^(−2). Electrically transduced frequency responses of the fabricated devices are in good agreement with analytical predictions. Finally, we demonstrate the excellent frequency stability with a 10^(−8) minimum Allan deviation. This exceptionally low noise operation allows us to expect a limit of detection as low as 53 zg µm^(−2) and demonstrate the strong potential of AlN PZE microcantilevers for high resolution gas detection.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Matheny, M. H.0000-0002-3488-1083
Roukes, M. L.0000-0002-2916-6026
Hentz, S.0000-0003-0479-9027
Additional Information:© 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 13 December 2010, in final form 23 May 2011. Published 12 July 2011. The fabrication of the experimental devices has been performed within the Plateforme des Technologie Amont (PTA) clean room. The authors also acknowledge the financial support of the Fulbright Doctoral Program and of the Carnot NEMS.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Fulbright Doctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
Classification Code:PACS: 68.55.-a; 77.65.-j; 85.30.Tv; 07.07.Df; 77.55.+f
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110815-103301312
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Official Citation:50 nm thick AlN film-based piezoelectric cantilevers for gravimetric detection P Ivaldi et al 2011 J. Micromech. Microeng. 21 085023
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24853
Deposited On:15 Aug 2011 17:58
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:27

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