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Concept and proof for an all-silicon MEMS micro speaker utilizing air chambers

: Kaisers, B.; Langa, S.; Ehrig, L.; Stolz, M.; Schenk, H.; Conrad, H.; Schenk, H.; Schimmanz, K.; Schuftenhauer, D.

Volltext ()

Microsystems & nanoengineering 5 (2019), Art.43, 11 S.
ISSN: 2055-7434
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
03VP01800; MEMSound
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IPMS ()

MEMS-based micro speakers are attractive candidates as sound transducers for smart devices, particularly wearables and hearables. For such devices, high sound pressure levels, low harmonic distortion and low power consumption are required for industrial, consumer and medical applications. The ability to integrate with microelectronic circuitry, as well as scalable batch production to enable low unit costs, are the key factors benchmarking a technology. The Nanoscopic Electrostatic Drive based, novel micro speaker concept presented in this work essentially comprises in-plane, electrostatic bending actuators, and uses the chip volume rather than the its surface for sound generation. We describe the principle, design, fabrication, and first characterization results. Various design options and governing equations are given and discussed. In a standard acoustical test setup (ear simulator), a MEMS micro speaker generated a sound pressure level of 69 dB at 500 Hz with a total harmonic distortion of 4.4%, thus proving the concept. Further potential on sound pressure as well as linearity improvement is outlined. We expect that the described methods can be used to enhance and design other MEMS devices and foster modeling and simulation approaches.