MEMS & Sensors

Solmates pulsed laser deposition serves a variety of thin film processes for a variety of sensor and actuator MEMS-based applications. As most famous MEMS materials typically consist of multiple elements, the advantage of stoichiometric transfer from target to substrate makes PLD a perfect technology for both research and production of many MEMS applications.


“If you can make the target, you can grow the film”

Lead-zirconate (PZT)

Solmates holds a strong portfolio of PZT publications that originated from our long history with this outstanding piezo material. Solmates PLD has supported a wide variety of MEMS applications that benefit from the flexibility that PLD has to offer. Examples of successful integration of our PZT process in devices go from photonic waveguide actuators to energy harvesters, pMUTs, spin-wave devices and LiDAR.

The wide range of applications that is supported by Solmates PZT arises from the tunability and flexibility that PLD offers with this material. With simple variations to the process settings one can tune the PZT layer from high d33 to high e31 performance and in between. The quality of our PZT layers is maintained up to MHz frequencies and for very thin layers as PLD allows for a very high crystallinity from the start of the deposition.

The pictures show typical performance data of  PZT layers deposited by Solmates PLD. Please contact Solmates for more information on tuneability of PZT performance by PLD towards your specific application.

PZT for MEMS data
Typical performance data of Solmates PZT layers
Material Application Typical piezo performance by PLD
KNN (K0.5Na0.5NbO3) Actuators, sensors, transducers d33 = 60 pm/V; e31 = -5.6 C/m2
Sc-doped AlN RF, sensors, ultra-sound d33 = 14 pm/V; e31 = -2.5 C/m2
LiNbO3 RF, photonics To be determined
BaTiO3 Actuators, tunable microwave, ultrasonic transducers To be determined
BNT (Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3) Actuators, sensors, transducers d33 = 78 pm/V but high leakage
Ba0.85Ca0.15Zr0.1Ti0.9O3 (BCZT) Actuators, sensors, ultrasonic transducers, energy storage d33 = 68 pm/V; e31 = -5.8 C/m2 for 600 nm dense BCZT film d33 = 112 pm/V for 600 nm columnar BCZT film
Ba0.7Zr0.3TiO3 (BZT) Actuators, sensors, ultrasonic transducers, energy storage d33 = 84 pm/V for 1000 nm BZT film

Lead-free piezo materials

Since the stoichiometric transfer in PLD enables thin film growth of all kinds of complex oxide material systems, PLD is very suitable for a variety of lead-free piezo materials that are typically difficult to fabricate with other deposition technologies. Materials with volatile elements like KNN and Lithium Niobate are easily deposited using PLD. Besides depositing the material, PLD also allows tuning of specific material properties of the material towards specific application demands. Using this, our customers can use the same material optimized for either high d33 or e31 performance. The table on the left summarizes a few of these materials, please contact Solmates for more specific information.