Micro and Nano Engineering (Jun 2020)

Design, fabrication and characterization of piezoelectric cantilever MEMS for underwater application

  • B. Abdul,
  • V.M. Mastronardi,
  • A. Qualtieri,
  • F. Guido,
  • L. Algieri,
  • F. Rizzi,
  • M. De Vittorio

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7


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This work shows a preliminary microfabrication route for a novel directional hydrophone based on a cross-shaped design of piezoelectric cantilevers. A thin layer of aluminum nitride (AlN) using Molybdenum (Mo) thin film as electrodes will be exploited as piezoelectric functional layer for the microfabrication of a cantilever-based ultrasonic micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) hydrophone. A parameterized simulation based on length of these cantilevers between 100 and 1000 μm allowed to set the first resonant mode between 20 kHz and 200 kHz, the desired underwater ultrasonic acoustic range. The microsystem was designed with cantilevers facing each other in a cross configuration in order to have novel MEMS hydrophone with an omnidirectional response. In order to investigate the first resonance frequency mode and displacement measurements, a Laser Doppler Vibrometer was used and good agreement between simulations and experimental results was achieved. Responsivity and directionality measurements of the piezoelectric MEMS cantilevers were performed in water. Maximum sensitivity up to −153 dB with omnidirectional directivity pattern was achieved by fabricated MEMS sensor.