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Vol. 91, Issue 4, April 2008, pp.70-75




Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Based MEMS Acoustic Sensor


Aarti Arora*, P. J. George*, Anil Arora, V. K. Dwivedi, Vinay Gupta**

*Kurukshetra Institute of Technology and Management,

Kurukshetra-136118, INDIA

MEMS and Microsensors Group

Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute

Pilani 333031, INDIA

** Department of physics and Astrophysics, University of Delhi,

Delhi-110007, India

E-mail:  aarti25nov@yahoo.com



Received: 16 April 2008   /Accepted: 21 April 2008   /Published: 30 April 2008


Abstract: An acoustic sensors exhibiting good sensitivity was fabricated using MEMS technology having piezoelectric zinc oxide as a dielectric between two plates of capacitor. Thin film zinc oxide has  structural, piezoelectric and optical properties for surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) devices. Oxygen effficient films are transparent and insulating having wide applications for sensors  and transducers. A rf sputtered piezoelectric ZnO layer transforms the mechanical deflection of a thin etched silicon diaphragm into a piezoelectric charge.  For 25-micron thin diaphragm Si was etched in tetramethylammonium hydroxide solution using bulk micromachining. This was followed by deposition of sandwiched structure composed of bottom aluminum electrode, sputtered 3 micron ZnO film and top aluminum electrode. A glass having 1 mm diameter hole was bonded on backside of device to compensate sound pressure in side the cavity. The measured value of central capacitance and dissipation factor of the fabricated MEMS acoustic sensor was found to be 82.4pF and 0.115 respectively, where as the value of ~176 pF was obtained for the rim capacitance with a dissipation factor of  0.138. The response of the acoustic sensors was reproducible for the devices prepared under similar processing conditions under different batches. The acoustic sensor was found to be  working from 30Hz to 8KHz with a sensitivity of 139V/Pa under varying acoustic pressure.


Keywords: Acoustic sensor, Zinc oxide, Rf sputtering


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