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Piezoelectrically actuated diamond cantilevers for high-frequency applications

: Heidrich, N.; Zürbig, V.; Iankov, D.; Pletschen, W.; Sah, R.E.; Raynor, B.; Kirste, L.; Nebel, C.E.; Ambacher, O.; Lebedev, V.


Diamond and Related Materials 38 (2013), pp.69-72
ISSN: 0925-9635
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAF ()
nanocrystalline diamond; aluminum nitride (AlN); p-type doping; field emission; mechanical property characterization; micro electromechanical systems (MEMS)

In this work, we present a proof-of-concept for the modulation of field emission currents from boron doped nano-diamond based micro-electro-mechanical cantilevers. This modulation was achieved by variations in anode-cathode spacing using mechanical oscillations of the field emitting tips by means of piezoelectric actuation of an aluminum nitride layer. In these devices, the nano-diamond layers serve as a multifunctional material as they are used as field emitters, elastic layers in a unimorph layer stack and as electrodes for piezoactuation. The cantilevers are processed using conventional micro-fabrication technology and are enhanced by focused ion beam milling, introducing nano-scale features. In addition, it is shown that a stress compensating geometry is efficient to counteract the large thermally induced strain in the nano-materials used.