Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) Based PiezoMEMS Technology

R.G. Polcawich, J.S. Pulskamp, G. Smith, S. Bedair, T. Ivanov, R. Proie, L. Sanchez, D.M. Potrepka
US Army Research Laboratory, US

Keywords: PZT, piezo MEMS, actuators, RF, switch, resonator, ultrasonic motor, robotics


As part of an on-going research activity at the US Army Research Laboratory, a PiezoMEMS fabrication process using PZT thin films and combinations of both surface and bulk micromachining has been developed. Recently, this fabricration process has been refined and optimized the PZT thin film texture for achieving greater than 95% (001) oriented PZT using precise control each of the dielectric and metal layers to create a unimorph actuator. Further, these improvements have now been extended for use in multi-layer actuator (MLA) configurations where the (001) PZT texture has been retained to better than 90% in a four PZT layer MLA for the first time. This presentation will focus specifically on the the fabrication process and the resulting performance of devices that span applications in both RF and small scale robotics including DC and RF relays, resonators and filters, actuators for microflight, and ultrasonic traveling wave motors.