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Thin film monitoring with silicon bulk acoustic resonators

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3 Author(s)
Lee, J.E.-Y. ; Dept. of Eng., Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge ; Bahreyni, Behraad ; Seshia, A.A.

This paper reports a single-crystal silicon mass sensor based on a square-plate resonant structure excited in the wine glass bulk acoustic mode at a resonant frequency of 2.065 MHz and an impressive quality factor of 4 million at 12 mtorr pressure. Mass loading on the resonator results in a linear downshift in the resonant frequency of this device, wherein the measured sensitivity is found to be 175 Hz cm2/mug. The silicon resonator is embedded in an oscillator feedback loop, which has a short-term frequency stability of 3 mHz (approximately 1.5 ppb) at an operating pressure of 3.2 mtorr, corresponding to an equivalent mass noise floor of 17 pg/cm2. Possible applications of this device include thin film monitoring and gas sensing, with the potential added benefits of scalability and integration with CMOS technology.

Published in:

Sensors, 2008 IEEE

Date of Conference:

26-29 Oct. 2008