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Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 208; doi:10.3390/mi7110208

3C-Silicon Carbide Microresonators for Timing and Frequency Reference

1
Scottish Microelectronics Centre, Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3FF, UK
2
Department of Marine Electronics and Communications, Faculty of Maritime Studies Rijeka, University of Rijeka, Rijeka HR-51000, Croatia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ha Duong Ngo
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9575 KB, uploaded 15 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is required, cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is an excellent candidate for use as a structural material, due to its robustness, chemical inertness and high temperature stability. In order to actuate 3C-SiC resonators, electrostatic, electrothermal and piezoelectric methods have been explored. Both electrothermal and piezoelectric actuation can be accomplished with simpler fabrication and lower driving voltages, down to 0.5 V, compared to electrostatic actuation. The vibration amplitude at resonance can be maximised by optimising the design and location of the electrodes. Electrical read out of the resonator can be performed with electrostatic or piezoelectric transduction. Finally, a great deal of research has focused on tuning the resonant frequency of a 3C-SiC resonator by adjusting the DC bias applied to the electrodes, with a higher (up to 160-times) tuning range for electrothermal tuning compared to piezoelectric tuning. Electrothermal tuning lowers the frequency, while piezoelectric tuning can be used to raise the frequency. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon carbide; resonators; actuation methods; frequency tuning silicon carbide; resonators; actuation methods; frequency tuning
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Wood, G.S.; Sviličić, B.; Mastropaolo, E.; Cheung, R. 3C-Silicon Carbide Microresonators for Timing and Frequency Reference. Micromachines 2016, 7, 208.

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