Edge-released, piezoelectric MEMS acoustic transducers in array configuration

Shih Jui Chen, Youngki Choe, Lukas Baumgartel, Anderson Lin, Eun Sok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A sensitive, broad-bandwidth piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) transducer based on frequency interleaving of resonant transducers was designed and fabricated. A sputter-deposited piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film on the diaphragm is used to sense and generate acoustic pressure. A high compliance cantilever and spiral-beam-supported diaphragms are designed and built on the edge-released MEMS structure to release initial residual stress and to avoid in-plane tension when bent. Stress compensation has been achieved by adjusting the thickness of each layer of the cantilever and by compensating for the ZnO film's compressive stress with the bimorph structure of the spiral-beam. For a given pressure level and diaphragm size, the maximum strain on the spiral-beam-supported diaphragm is about an order of magnitude larger than that of a rectangular cantilever diaphragm. Also, the acoustic transducer built on the spiral-beam-supported diaphragm has a much higher sensitivity (but with less tolerance on the fabrication process variation and at the cost of lower usable bandwidth) than the one built on a rectangular cantilever diaphragm. By connecting many transducers in parallel, both the sensitivity and acoustic output were improved about 30 times. The interleaving of the transducers increased not only the sensitivity, but also broadened the useable bandwidth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025005
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Edge-released, piezoelectric MEMS acoustic transducers in array configuration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this