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Evaluation of silicon tuning fork resonators under mechanical loads and space-relevant radiation conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Tobias Bandi

EPFL, Swiss Space Center, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

CSEM, Microsystems Technology Division, Jaquet Droz 1, 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

EPFL, Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory, Rue de la Maladière 71b, 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Jacek Baborowski

CSEM, Microsystems Technology Division, Jaquet Droz 1, 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Alex Dommann

Empa, Department Materials Meet Life, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, 9014 Sankt Gallen, Switzerland

Herbert R. Shea

EPFL, Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory, Rue de la Maladière 71b, 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Francis Cardot

CSEM, Microsystems Technology Division, Jaquet Droz 1, 2002 Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Antonia Neels

Empa, Center for X-ray Analytics, Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 13(4), 043019 (Dec 18, 2014). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.13.4.043019
History: Received January 29, 2014; Accepted October 21, 2014
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Abstract.  This work reports on mechanical tests and irradiations made on silicon bulk-acoustic wave resonators. The resonators were based on a tuning fork geometry and actuated by a piezoelectric aluminum nitride layer. They had a resonance frequency of 150 kHz and a quality factor of about 20,000 under vacuum. The susceptibility of the devices to radiation-induced degradation was investigated using Co60γ-rays and 50 MeV protons with space-relevant doses of up to 170 krad. The performance of the devices after irradiation indicated a high tolerance to both ionizing damage and displacement damage effects. In addition, the device characteristics were evaluated after mechanical shock and vibration tests and only small effects on the devices were observed. In all experiments, no significant changes of the resonance characteristics were observed within the experimental uncertainty, which was below 100 ppm for the resonance frequency. The results support the efforts toward design and fabrication of highly reliable MEMS devices for space applications.

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© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Tobias Bandi ; Jacek Baborowski ; Alex Dommann ; Herbert R. Shea ; Francis Cardot, et al.
"Evaluation of silicon tuning fork resonators under mechanical loads and space-relevant radiation conditions", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 13(4), 043019 (Dec 18, 2014). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.13.4.043019


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