This paper presents a fabrication method of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) by wafer direct bonding, which utilizes both the wet chemical and O2
plasma activation processes to decrease the bonding temperature to 400 °C. Two key surface properties, the contact angle and surface roughness, are studied in relation to the activation processes, respectively. By optimizing the surface activation parameters, a surface roughness of 0.274 nm and a contact angle of 0° are achieved. The infrared images and static deflection of devices are assessed to prove the good bonding effect. CMUTs having silicon membranes with a radius of 60 μm and a thickness of 2 μm are fabricated. Device properties have been characterized by electrical and acoustic measurements to verify their functionality and thus to validate this low-temperature process. A resonant frequency of 2.06 MHz is obtained by the frequency response measurements. The electrical insertion loss and acoustic signal have been evaluated. This study demonstrates that the CMUT devices can be fabricated by low-temperature wafer direct bonding, which makes it possible to integrate them directly on top of integrated circuit (IC) substrates.
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