Effect of crystal orientation on liquid phase performance of piezoelectric-on-silicon elliptical plate resonators

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Article number113548
Journal / PublicationSensors and Actuators A: Physical
Online published7 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022


Various microelectromechanical (MEM) resonator topologies have been proposed for liquid phase sensing applications. Low liquid phase motional resistance (Rm) and moderately high liquid phase quality factor (Q) are critical to the performance of oscillators based on these resonators for real-time frequency tracking in sensing applications. We recently described a new topology we call the elliptical plate resonator EPR that delivers the lowest Rm after normalizing for area (which impacts mass sensitivity as a tradeoff for lower Rm). In this work, we show that further significant gains in performance can be made by choice of device alignment to the silicon crystal axis (< 110 > direction vs. < 100 > direction). We compare the liquid phase performance between the two orientations for a range of geometrical ratios defining the ellipse of the device. We show that the orientation makes a notable difference on trends in liquid phase Q and Rm. By aligning the EPR to the < 110 > direction, we demonstrate a liquid phase Q of 310 and Rm of 2.5 kΩ. Normalizing for area (Rm×A) to express the tradeoff between mass sensitivity and electrical performance in relation to device area, we report an Rm×A of 0.25 kΩ.mm2. We also show that these gains in liquid phase Rm and Q translate into significant lowering of the Allan deviation when these devices are embedded in close loop to track their frequency in real time with water loaded on the device as expected in liquid phase sensing applications.

Research Area(s)

  • Piezoelectric devices, Micromechanical resonators, Aluminum nitride on silicon, Liquid-phase, Viscous damping