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Energy harvesting based on piezoelectric AlN and AlScN thin films deposited by high rate sputtering

: Frach, Peter; Barth, Stephan; Bartzsch, Hagen; Glöß, Daniel


George, T. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IX : Anaheim, California, United States, April 9, 2017
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2017 (Proceedings of SPIE 10194)
Paper 101942Z, 10 S.
Conference "Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications" <9, 2017, Anaheim/Calif.>
Fraunhofer FEP ()
Sputter-Deposition; energy harvesting; Sc-doping; AlScN

Aluminum nitride (AlN) is a piezoelectric material often used as thin film in SAW/BAW devices. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in its use for energy harvesting applications. Despite it has a relatively low piezoelectric coefficient, it is a suitable choice for energy harvesting applications and due to its low dielectric constant and good mechanical properties. In addition, it is a lead-free material. The films were deposited by reactive pulsed magnetron sputtering using the Double Ring Magnetron DRM 400. This sputter source together with suitable powering and process control allows depositing piezoelectric AlN very homogeneously on 8” substrates with deposition rates of up to 200 nm/min. With the developed technology, film thicknesses of several ten microns are technically and economically feasible. Moreover, by adjusting process parameters accordingly, it is possible to tune properties, like film stress, to application specific requirements. Additionally, it is known that the doping of AlN with Scandium results in a significantly increased piezoelectric coefficient. The influence of process parameters and Sc concentration on film properties were determined by piezometer, pulse echo, SEM, XRD, EDS and nanoindentation measurements. Energy harvesting measurements were done using an electromechanical shaker system for the excitation of defined vibrations and a laser vibrometer for determination of the displacement of the samples. The generated power was measured as function of electric load at resonance. An rms power of up to 140μW using AlN films and of 350μW using AlScN films was generated on Si test pieces of 8x80mm².Furthermore, energy harvesting measurements using manually bended steel strips of 75x25mm² coated with AlScN were carried out as well. When using only a single actuation, energy of up to 8μJ could be measured. By letting the system vibrate freely, the damped vibration at resonance 50Hz resulted in a measured energy of 420μJ.