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Piezoelectric aluminum nitride nanoelectromechanical actuators
Applied Physics Letter (2009)
  • Nipun Sinha, University of Pennsylvania
  • Graham E. Wabiszewski, University of Pennsylvania
  • Rashed Mahameed, University of Pennsylvania
  • Valery V. Felmetsger
  • Shawn M. Tanner
  • Robert W. Carpick, University of Pennsylvania
  • Gianluca Piazza, University of Pennsylvania

This letter reports the implementation of ultrathin (100 nm) aluminum nitride (AlN) piezoelectric layers for the fabrication of vertically deflecting nanoactuators. The films exhibit an average piezoelectric coefficient (d31~−1.9 pC/N), which is comparable to its microscale counterpart. This allows vertical deflections as large as 40 nm from 18 µm long and 350 nm thick multilayer cantilever bimorph beams with 2 V actuation. Furthermore, in-plane stress and stress gradients have been simultaneously controlled. The films exhibit leakage currents lower than 2 nA/cm2 at 1 V, and have an average relative dielectric constant of approximately 9.2 (as in thicker films). These material characteristics and actuation results make the AlN nanofilms ideal candidates for the realization of nanoelectromechanical switches for low power logic applications.

  • NEMS,
  • nanoactuators,
  • AlN thin-film
Publication Date
August, 2009
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2009 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted from: Piezoelectric aluminum nitride nanoelectromechanical actuators. Nipun Sinha, Graham E. Wabiszewski, Rashed Mahameed, Valery V. Felmetsger, Shawn M. Tanner, Robert W. Carpick, and Gianluca Piazza, Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 053106 (2009), DOI:10.1063/1.3194148. URL:
Citation Information
Nipun Sinha, Graham E. Wabiszewski, Rashed Mahameed, Valery V. Felmetsger, et al.. "Piezoelectric aluminum nitride nanoelectromechanical actuators" Applied Physics Letter Vol. 95 (2009)
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