Fabrication methods for improved electromechanical behavior in piezoelectric membranes

M. C. Robinson, P. D. Hayenga, J. H. Cho, C. D. Richards, R. F. Richards, D. F. Bahr

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Piezoelectric materials convert mechanical to electrical energy under stretching and bending conditions. Optimizing the coupling conversion is imperative to the electromechanical behavior of a micromachined membrane's performance. This paper discusses analytical calculations that were devised to determine the microscale structure that minimizes residual stress and outlines the implementation of fabrication technique variations including three different electrode configurations, trenching around the membrane, and reducing the total composite residual stress of the support structure using compressive silicon oxide. Lead zirconacte titanate (PZT) films between 1 and 3 μm thick with a ratio of Zr to Ti of 40:60 were deposited onto 3 mm square silicon membranes. The total tensile stress in the composite structure reaches 100 MPa during standard fabrication processing. Utilizing analytical calculations, a structure was determined that lowered the residual stress of the composite to 11 MPa and increased the electromechanical coupling 35 times. Changing the geometry of the electrode coverage decreased the residual stress of the composite by 40%. Trenching around the membrane provided a membrane with boundary conditions that approached simply supported and decreased the composite residual stress by another 16%. A comparison of the electromechanical behavior for these structures will be discussed, showing a route towards increasing electromechanical coupling in PZT MEMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberJ18.26
Pages (from-to)419-424
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2005 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 28 2005Apr 1 2005

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