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Sensors 2008, 8(9), 5759-5774;

Electrical Characterization of Microelectromechanical Silicon Carbide Resonators

Department of Electrical Engineering, National University of Kaohsiung, No. 700, Kaohsiung University Road, Nan-Tzu District, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2008 / Revised: 10 September 2008 / Accepted: 12 September 2008 / Published: 17 September 2008
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This manuscript describes the findings of a study to investigate the performance of SiC MEMS resonators with respect to resonant frequency and quality factor under a variety of testing conditions, including various ambient pressures, AC drive voltages, bias potentials and temperatures. The sample set included both single-crystal and polycrystalline 3C-SiC lateral resonators. The experimental results show that operation at reduced pressures increases the resonant frequency as damping due to the gas-rarefaction effect becomes significant. Both DC bias and AC drive voltages result in nonlinearities, but the AC drive voltage is more sensitive to noise. The AC voltage has a voltage coefficient of 1~4ppm/V at a DC bias of 40V. The coefficient of DC bias is about -11ppm/V to - 21ppm/V for poly-SiC, which is more than a factor of two better than a similarly designed polysilicon resonator (-54 ppm/V). The effective stiffness of the resonator decreases (softens) as the bias potential is increased, but increases (hardens) as drive voltage increase when scan is from low to high frequency. The resonant frequency decreases slightly with increasing temperature, exhibiting a temperature coefficient of -22 ppm/oC, between 22oC and 60oC. The thermal expansion mismatch between the SiC device and the Si substrate could be a reason that thermal coefficient for these SiC resonators is about twofold higher than similar polysilicon resonators. However, the Qs appear to exhibit no temperature dependence in this range. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS resonator; Silicon carbide; Gas rarefaction; Duffing effect; Temperature coefficient MEMS resonator; Silicon carbide; Gas rarefaction; Duffing effect; Temperature coefficient
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chang, W.-T.; Zorman, C. Electrical Characterization of Microelectromechanical Silicon Carbide Resonators. Sensors 2008, 8, 5759-5774.

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