ISU Electrical and Computer Engineering Archives

Characterization of piezoelectric ZnO thin films and the fabrication of piezoelectric microcantilevers

Johnson, Raegan (2005) Characterization of piezoelectric ZnO thin films and the fabrication of piezoelectric microcantilevers. Masters thesis, Iowa State University.

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In Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), a microcantilever is raster scanned across the surface of a sample in order to obtain a topographical image of the sample's surface. In a traditional, optical AFM, the sample rests on a bulk piezoelectric tube and a control loop is used to control the tip-sample separation by actuating the piezo-tube. This method has several disadvantages -- the most noticeable one being that response time of the tube is rather long which leads to slow imaging speeds. One possible solution aimed at improving the speed of imaging is to incorporate a thin piezoelectric film on top of the cantilever beam. This design not only improves the speed of imaging because the piezoelectric film replaces the piezo-tube as an actuator, but the film can also act as a sensor. This project aims to fabricate piezoelectric microcantilevers for use in the AFM. Prior to fabricating the cantilevers and also part of this project, a systematic study was performed to examine the effects of deposition conditions on the quality of piezoelectric ZnO thin films deposited by RF sputtering. The deposition parameters that produced the highest quality ZnO film were used in the fabrication of the piezoelectric cantilevers. Unfortunately, the fabricated cantilevers warped due to the intrinsic stress of the ZnO film and were therefore not usable in the AFM. The complete fabrication process will be detailed, the results will be discussed and reasons for the warping will be examined.

EPrint Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:piezoelectric, MEMS, cantilever, fabrication, ZnO
Subjects:Electrical Engineering > MICROELECTRONICS & PHOTONICS > Device Modeling and Physics
ID Code:179
Identification Number:TR-2005-07-16
Deposited By:Raegan Johnson
Deposited On:20 July 2005

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