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PZT Thick Films for MEMS Applications by Lithographically Structured Electrophoretic Deposition
Keywords: PZT, electrophoretic deposition, MEMS
Thick-film piezoelectric transducers have been studied widely in the past years. But the limitations in fabrication obstruct the use in actuators and sensors. Especially the alignment, the reproducibility and structure sizes are limited. To overcome this limitation a printing process developed at our group was presented earlier. However, to enable mass production new and different technologies have to be used. Electrophoretic deposition is a widely industrially used process for coating and painting. Colloidal particles suspended in a fluid migrate under the influence of an electric field and are deposited on a surface. All colloidal particles that form stable suspensions and that carry a surface charge in the liquid, including ceramics, can be used for deposition. This makes the process an ideal candidate for the reliable and stable deposition of piezoelectric ceramics on silicon substrates. However, in standard technology the film covers the whole substrate and is therefore not feasible as a transducer in MEMS. To overcome these limitations a technology that combines the benefits of photolithographic structuring and electrophoretic deposition is presented. The silicon can be processed with standard MEMS technologies to fabricate silicon microsystems with piezoelectric transducers. This combines the reliability, accuracy, widespread technology and small size of silicon MEMS with the high sensitivity or high power of piezoelectric sensors or actuators. This opens up fields of applications in areas like biomedical devices where reliability and sizes are a crucial issue. The resulting piezoelectric layers on silicon membranes are characterized in their properties and their influence on system reliability.
Stefan Schimpf, Group Leader Medical Microsystems
Otto-von Guericke University
Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt 39016,
Germany


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