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Characterization of Lithographically Structured PZT Thick Film Structures
Keywords: MEMS, PZT, thick-film
Thick-film piezoelectric transducers have been studied widely in the past years. However the limitations in fabrication obstruct the use in actuators and sensors. Especially the alignment, the reproducibility and structure sizes are limited. To overcome these limitations a process with photolithographic alignment and small feature sizes was developed. This is especially interesting for microfluidic applications as relatively large forces and elongations, necessary to drive fluids in capillaries or mix fluids in reaction chambers, can be induced by piezoelectric actuation. This process raises comparably low costs and demands low design efforts for a wide spectrum of application structures. PZT (lead titanium zirconate) was chosen as piezoelectric material as it is readily available, has high piezoelectric constants and can be sintered to form a stable ceramic layer on silicon substrates. To successfully design systems using this process the mechanical, electrical and piezoelectrical properties are characterized and the reliability of the piezoelectric ceramics in combination with a silicon substrate is investigated and compared to commercially available ceramic plates. As the standard measurements for piezoelectric constants are not applicable for thick films, a model involving analytical theory and simulation is developed and the constants are derived thereby. Further actuator structures are evaluated for their use in microfluidics and are characterized in static behavior.
Stefan Schimpf, Ph.D. Student
Otto-von-Guericke University
Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt 39016,
Germany


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