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Piezoelectric Micromechanical Resonators for IR Detection

Vikrant J. Gokhale, Azadeh Ansari, Kaan Tosun

Sponsors: Army Research Laboratory Army Research Laboratory and National Science Foundation National Science Foundation

This research aims at developing a technology for low-noise un-cooled detection of infrared (IR) radiation using a combination of piezoelectric, pyroelectric and resonant effects. The architecture consists of a parallel array of high-Q gallium nitride (GaN) micromechanical resonators coated with an IR absorbing nanocomposite. The nanocomposite absorber converts the IR energy into heat with high efficiency. The generated heat causes a shift in frequency characteristic of GaN resonators because of pyroelectric and piezoelectric effects. IR detection is achieved by sensing the shift in the resonance frequency and amplitude of the exposed GaN resonator as compared to a reference resonator that is included in the array. This architecture offers improved signal to noise ratio compared with conventional pyroelectric detectors as the resonant effect reduces the background noise and improves sensitivity. GaN is chosen as the resonant material as it possesses high piezoelectric and pyroelectric coefficients and can be grown on silicon substrate for low-cost batch fabrication.

V. J. Gokhale, O. Shenderova, G. McGuire, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Infrared absorption properties of carbon nanotube/nanodiamond based thin film coatings," IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp.191-197, Feb. , 2014.

V. J. Gokhale and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Uncooled infrared detectors using gallium nitride on silicon micromechanical resonators," IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Dec., 2013. S. Yu, V. J. Gokhale, O. A. Shenderova, G. E. McGuire, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "A thin film infrared absorber using CNT/nanodiamond nanocomposite," 2012 MRS Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April, 2012.

M. Rais-Zadeh, "Gallium nitride micromechanical resonators for IR detection," Proceedings of SPIE: Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications, invited, Baltimore, MD, April, 2012.

A. Ansari, V. Gokhale, J. Roberts, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Monolithic integration of GaN-based micromechanical resonators and HEMTs for timing application," IEEE Electron Device Meeting (IEDM’12), Dec. 2012.

V. J. Gokhale, Y. Sui, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Novel uncooled detector based on gallium nitride micromechanical resonators," Proceedings of SPIE: Infrared Technology and Applications, Baltimore, MD, April, 2012.

V. J. Gokhale and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Resonant uncooled IR sensors using Gallium Nitride micromechanical resonators and Silicon Nitride Absorbers," Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop, Hilton Head, SC, June, 2012.

V. J. Gokhale, J. Roberts, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "High-performance bulk-mode gallium nitride resonators and filters," International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (Transducers'11), Beijing, China, June 2011.

A. Ansari, V. J. Gokhale, V. A. Thakar, J. Roberts, and M. Rais-Zadeh, "Gallium nitride-on-silicon micromechanical overtone resonators and filters," IEEE Electron Device Meeting (IEDM'11),Dec. 2011.

M. Raieszadeh and V. J. Gokhale, "An un-cooled resonance pyro/piezo electric infrared sensor array," Invention Disclosure Filed 8/17/2009, U. of Michigan, 2012.

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