Piezoelectric transduction for MEMS

Research topics >>


We are targeting unprecedented level of integration of self-actuated micro(nano)electromechanical system  - M(N)EMS - resonators based on less than 200 nm thick lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin film at the wafer-scale. A top-down approach combining ultraviolet (UV) lithography with other standard planar processing technologies allows us to achieve high-throughput manufacturing. Recently, multilayer stack cantilevers and bridges with different geometries have been implemented with measured fundamental resonant frequencies in the megahertz range and Q-factor values ranging from ~130 in air up to ~900 in a vacuum at room temperature. A refined finite element model taking into account the exact configuration of the piezoelectric stack has been proposed and demonstrated the importance of considering the dependence of the beam’s cross-section upon the axial coordinate. We extensively investigate both experimentally and theoretically the transduction efficiency of the implemented piezoelectric layer and we thrive against the current limitations to achieve piezoelectric detection at this scale.

(a) Wafer-scale fabrication of NEMS cantilevers on a 4 inch SOI wafer. (b) Each chip is composed of 64 arrays of 4 cantilevers. Colored scanning electron microscope (SEM) pictures of 2 arrays of 2.4 μm wide cantilevers are respectively shown in (c) and (d). A close view of the two configurations for the multilayer stack is shown in (e) and (f).



L. Nicu and D. Saya


  • Prof. Susan Trollier McKinstry, Penn State University, State College, PA, USA
  • D. Remiens, IEMN Lille
  • O. Thomas, Arts & Metiers ParisTech, LSIS Lille

Selective list of publications:

  • S. Guillon, D. Saya, L. Mazenq, J. Costecalde, D. Remiens, C. Soyer, L. Nicu, “Lead-zirconate titanate nanoscale patterning by ultraviolet-based lithography lift-off technique for nanoelectromechanical system applications”, IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics Ferroelec. Freq. Control 59, pp. 1955-61 (2012)
  • O. Thomas, F. Mathieu, W. Mansfield, C. Huang, S. Trolier-McKinstry, L. Nicu, “Efficient parametric amplification in micro-resonators with integrated piezoelectric actuation and sensing capabilities”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 163504 (2013)
  • D. Dezest, O. Thomas, F. Mathieu, L. Mazenq, C. Soyer, J. Costecalde, D. Remiens, J. F. Deu, L. Nicu, “Wafer-scale fabricated of self-actuated piezoelectric nanoelectromechanical resonators based on lead zirconate titanate (PZT)”, J. Micromech. Microeng. 25(3), 035002 (2015)