Aluminum nitride (AlN) has gained wide interest owing to its high values of elastic modulus, band gap, dielectric strength, resistivity, thermal conductivity and acoustic velocities, especially because it retains most of its properties and versatility in the thin-film form. This review focuses on applications where the CMOS integration of AlN MEMS has been effectively demonstrated. First, the fundamental concepts of piezoelectricity on polycrystalline c -axis oriented thin-films are introduced and AlN is compared to other common piezoelectric materials, namely LiNbO3, LiTaO3, quartz, lead zirconate titanate (PZT), ZnO and GaN by thoroughly discussing the material properties, processing and technological implications. After presenting the possible MEMS-CMOS integration strategies, recent demonstrations of AlN-based devices are reviewed, namely energy harvesters, film bulk acoustic resonators (FBAR), contour mode resonators (CMR), gas sensors, imagers, microphones, transducers for chip-scale communication and calorimetric sensors. Finally, other recent applications/integration opportunities are outlined for AlN-based micro-mirrors, flexible sensors and transducers for liquid media and harsh environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering