Piezoresistive silicon nanowire resonators as embedded building blocks in thick SOI
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Institute of Physics Publishing
1 - 6
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The use of silicon nanowire resonators in nanoelectromechanical systems for new-generation sensing and communication devices faces integration challenges with higher-order structures. Monolithic and deterministic integration of such nanowires with the surrounding microscale architecture within the same thick crystal is a critical aspect for the improvement of throughput, reliability and device functionality. A monolithic and IC-compatible technology based on a tuned combination of etching and protection processes was recently introduced yielding silicon nanowires within a 10 μm-thick device layer. Motivated by its success, the implications of the technology regarding the electromechanical resonance are studied within a particular setting, where the resonator is co-fabricated with all terminals and tuning electrodes. Frequency response is measured via piezoresistive readout with frequency down-mixing. Measurements indicate mechanical resonance with frequencies as high as 100 MHz exhibiting a Lorentzian behavior with proper transition to nonlinearity, while Allan deviation on the order of 3-8 ppm is achieved. Enabling the fabrication of silicon nanowires in thick silicon crystals using conventional semiconductor manufacturing, the present study thus demonstrates an alternative pathway to bottom-up and thin silicon-on-insulator approaches for silicon nanowire resonators.