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This letter reports the implementation of ultrathin (100 nm) aluminum nitride (AlN) piezoelectric layers for the fabrication of vertically deflecting nanoactuators. The films exhibit an average piezoelectric coefficient (d31~−1.9 pC/N), which is comparable to its microscale counterpart. This allows vertical deflections as large as 40 nm from 18 µm long and 350 nm thick multilayer cantilever bimorph beams with 2 V actuation. Furthermore, in-plane stress and stress gradients have been simultaneously controlled. The films exhibit leakage currents lower than 2 nA/cm2 at 1 V, and have an average relative dielectric constant of approximately 9.2 (as in thicker films). These material characteristics and actuation results make the AlN nanofilms ideal candidates for the realization of nanoelectromechanical switches for low power logic applications.
aluminium compounds, cantilevers, III-V semiconductors, leakage currents, nanoelectromechanical devices, nanostructured materials, permittivity, piezoelectric actuators, piezoelectric materials, piezoelectric thin films, piezoelectricity, semiconductor thin films, stress effects, wide band gap semiconductors
Sinha, Nipun; Wabiszewski, Graham E.; Mahameed, Rashed; Felmetsger, Valery V.; Tanner, Shawn M.; Carpick, Robert W.; and piazza, Gianluca, "Piezoelectric aluminum nitride nanoelectromechanical actuators" (2009). Departmental Papers (MEAM). 165.
Date Posted: 14 September 2009
This document has been peer reviewed.