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Open AccessArticle

A Study on the Effects of Bottom Electrode Designs on Aluminum Nitride Contour-Mode Resonators

1
Department of Robotics Engineering, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology (DGIST), Daegu 42988, Korea
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10110758
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 3 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers: Materials, Devices and Applications)
This study presents the effects of bottom electrode designs on the operation of laterally vibrating aluminum nitride (AlN) contour-mode resonators (CMRs). A total of 160 CMRs were analyzed with varying bottom electrode areas at two resonant frequencies (f0) of about 230 MHz and 1.1 GHz. Specifically, we analyzed the impact of bottom electrode coverage rates on the resonator quality factor (Q) and electromechanical coupling (k2), which are important parameters for Radio Frequency (RF) and sensing applications. From our experiments, Q exhibited different trends to electrode coverage rates depending on the device resonant frequencies, while k2 increased with the coverage rate regardless of f0. Along with experimental measurements, our finite element analysis (FEA) revealed that the bottom electrode coverage rate determines the active (or vibrating) region of the resonator and, thus, directly impacts Q. Additionally, to alleviate thermoelastic damping (TED) and focus on mechanical damping effects, we analyzed the device performance at 10 K. Our findings indicated that a careful design of bottom electrodes could further improve both Q and k2 of AlN CMRs, which ultimately determines the power budget and noise level of the resonator in integrated oscillators and sensor systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; aluminum nitride; resonator; damping; quality factor; electromechanical coupling MEMS; aluminum nitride; resonator; damping; quality factor; electromechanical coupling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jung, S.I.; Ryu, C.; Piazza, G.; Kim, H.J. A Study on the Effects of Bottom Electrode Designs on Aluminum Nitride Contour-Mode Resonators. Micromachines 2019, 10, 758.

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