A Geometrical Study on the Roof Tile-Shaped Modes in AlN-Based Piezoelectric Microcantilevers as Viscosity–Density Sensors
Cantilever resonators based on the roof tile-shaped modes have recently demonstrated their suitability for liquid media monitoring applications. The early studies have shown that certain combinations of dimensions and order of the mode can maximize the Q-factor, what might suggest a competition between two mechanisms of losses with different geometrical dependence. To provide more insight, a comprehensive study of the Q-factor and the resonant frequency of these modes in microcantilever resonators with lengths and widths between 250 and 3000 µm and thicknesses between 10 and 60 µm is presented. These modes can be efficiently excited by a thin piezoelectric AlN film and a properly designed top electrode layout. The electrical and optical characterization of the resonators are performed in liquid media and then their performance is evaluated in terms of quality factor and resonant frequency. A quality factor as high as 140 was measured in isopropanol for a 1000 × 900 × 10 µm 3 cantilever oscillating in the 11th order roof tile-shaped mode at 4 MHz; density and viscosity resolutions of 10−6 g/mL and 10−4 mPa·s, respectively are estimated for a geometrically optimized cantilever resonating below 1 MHz.
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