Piezoelectric MEMS Across Length Scales
Speaker: Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Penn State University
Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium 222
Date/Time: Friday, March 1, 2013, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are a growing research area with a diverse array of applications. Piezoelectric thin films convert between electrical and mechanical energy, and so enable a wide array of sensors, actuators, transducers, and energy harvesters. This presentation will overview processing and properties of piezoelectric MEMS over a wide range of length scales. At the largest length scale are projections for future X-ray telescopes, where many square meters of actuatable optics are needed on curved glass substrates. At the intermediate lengths scale (mm to microns), energy harvesting devices using piezoelectrics with figures of merit would be useful for powering local sensor nodes. It has been shown that a factor of 10 increase in the figure of merit is possible for domain-controlled PZT films, relative to AlN. Integration of these films with polymer passive elastic layers will be discussed to tailor the resonance frequency of the structures. Finally, at the smallest size scale (tens of nm/element), piezoelectrics are being explored as a possible alternative to Si based logic devices.