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Dissipation Mechanisms in Thin-Film Silicon Microresonators on Glass Substrates

  • J. Gaspar (a1) (a2), V. Chu (a1) and J. P. Conde (a1) (a2)

Abstract

The fabrication and characterization of thin-film silicon resonators processed at temperatures below 110°C on glass substrates is described. The microelectromechanical structures consist of surface micromachined bridges of phosphorus-doped hydrogenated amorphous silicon (n+-a-Si:H) deposited by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) suspended over a metallic gate counterelectrode. The structures are electrostatically actuated. Resonance frequencies in the MHz range and quality factors as high as 5000 are observed in vacuum. The effect of the geometrical dimensions of the bridges and of the measurement pressure on the resonance amplitude and frequency is studied. The elementary energy dissipation processes in a-Si:H-based resonators are discussed. At atmospheric pressure, air damping dominates the energy dissipation. In vacuum, intrinsic mechanisms, such as clamping losses and surface losses, control the energy dissipation.

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