New MEMS Opportunities from Piezoelectric Technology

Tuesday, July 11 10:55am

Piezoelectric materials for MEMS are at an inflection point and are poised to have a huge impact on the MEMS industry. Today, a number of high-volume and specialty foundries have introduced piezoelectric film deposition and etching capabilities in their manufacturing lines, dramatically lowering the time and cost required to develop a new piezoelectric MEMS product. From a product perspective, piezoelectric telecommunication filters and inkjet print-heads are in mass production, with ultrasonic sensors, microphones, micro-speakers, and variable focus lenses in the sampling phase, and new products such as ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, timing oscillators, energy-harvesters, micro-pumps, and optical scanners for LIDAR and projection displays in development. From the technology side, PZT and AlN piezoelectric films and their alloys (Nb, La, and Mn in PZT and Sc in AlN) are either in production or in development at a number of foundries while more exotic materials, such as LiNbO3, KNN, and PMN-PT, are the subject of active research in industry, academia, and the national laboratories. In this talk, I will give an overview of the new MEMS technologies that are being enabled by piezoelectric materials and describe some of the challenges and opportunities posed by this new technology.  

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