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Open AccessArticle

A Resonant Z-Axis Aluminum Nitride Thin-Film Piezoelectric MEMS Accelerometer

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,*, 1,*, 1,2,3, 1,2,4 and 1,4,5,6,*
1
Engineering Research Center for Semiconductor Integrated Technology, Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
2
Center of Materials Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Transducer Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
4
Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Science, Beijing 100083, China
5
School of microelectronics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
6
Beijing Engineering Research Center of Semiconductor Micro-Nano Integrated Technology, Beijing 100083, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090589
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 26 August 2019 / Accepted: 28 August 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers: Materials, Devices and Applications)
In this paper, we report a novel aluminum nitride (AlN) thin-film piezoelectric resonant accelerometer. Different from the ordinary MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) resonant accelerometers, the entire structure of the accelerometer, including the mass and the springs, is excited to resonate in-plane, and the resonance frequency is sensitive to the out-plane acceleration. The structure is centrosymmetrical with serpentine electrodes laid on supporting beams for driving and sensing. The stiffness of the supporting beams changes when an out-plane inertial force is applied on the structure. Therefore, the resonance frequency of the accelerometer will also change under the inertial force. The working principle is analyzed and the properties are simulated in the paper. The proposed AlN accelerometer is fabricated by the MEMS technology, and the structure is released by an ICP isotropic etching. The resonance frequency is 24.66 kHz at a static state. The quality factor is 1868. The relative sensitivity of this accelerometer, defined as the shift in the resonance frequency per gravity unit (1 g = 9.8 m/s2) is 346 ppm/g. The linearity of the accelerometer is 0.9988. The temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) of this accelerometer is −2.628 Hz/°C (i.e., −106 ppm/°C), tested from −40 °C to 85 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEMS; AlN thin film; piezoelectric effect; resonant accelerometer; z-axis MEMS; AlN thin film; piezoelectric effect; resonant accelerometer; z-axis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, J.; Zhang, M.; He, Y.; Su, Y.; Han, G.; Si, C.; Ning, J.; Yang, F.; Wang, X. A Resonant Z-Axis Aluminum Nitride Thin-Film Piezoelectric MEMS Accelerometer. Micromachines 2019, 10, 589.

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