Compliant membranes for the development of MEMS dual-backplate capacitive microphone using the SUMMiT V fabrication process.
Description: The objective of this project is the investigation of compliant membranes for the development of a MicroElectrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS) microphone using the Sandia Ultraplanar, Multilevel MEMS Technology (SUMMiT V) fabrication process. The microphone is a dual-backplate capacitive microphone utilizing electrostatic force feedback. The microphone consists of a diaphragm and two porous backplates, one on either side of the diaphragm. This forms a capacitor between the diaphragm and each backplate. As the incident pressure deflects the diaphragm, the value of each capacitor will change, thus resulting in an electrical output. Feedback may be used in this device by applying a voltage between the diaphragm and the backplates to balance the incident pressure keeping the diaphragm stationary. The SUMMiT V fabrication process is unique in that it can meet the fabrication requirements of this project. All five layers of polysilicon are used in the fabrication of this device. The SUMMiT V process has been optimized to provide low-stress mechanical layers that are ideal for the construction of the microphone's diaphragm. The use of chemical mechanical polishing in the SUMMiT V process results in extremely flat structural layers and uniform spacing between the layers, both of which are critical to the successful fabrication of the MEMS microphone. The MEMS capacitive microphone was fabricated at Sandia National Laboratories and post-processed, packaged, and tested at the University of Florida. The microphone demonstrates a flat frequency response, a linear response up to the designed limit, and a sensitivity that is close to the designed value. Future work will focus on characterization of additional devices, extending the frequency response measurements, and investigating the use of other types of interface circuitry.
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Martin, David (University of Florida, Gainesville, FL)
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