Deposition, characterization and optimization of zinc oxide thin film for piezoelectric cantilevers
Date of Issue2012
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
In this work, piezoelectric zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films are deposited under different deposition conditions using RF magnetron sputtering method. The influence of RF power, O2/(Ar + O2) gas ratio and sputtering pressure on the deposition rate, crystalline structures, surface roughness and composition purity of ZnO film are investigated by X-ray Diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atom force microscopy (AFM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). All the fabricated ZnO films have a preferred ZnO(0 0 2) orientation. When the gas ratio of O2/(Ar + O2) is 25% and the working pressure is 0.8 Pa, the grain size in the ZnO thin film is of the largest and the ZnO film has a very smooth and dense surface. The SEM cross-sectional image of the ZnO film confirms that the ZnO thin film has a columnar structure and the c-axis is perpendicular to the substrate surface. The EDS analysis shows the ZnO film has only Zn and O elements. Different ZnO film based piezoelectric micro cantilevers are fabricated using micromachining techniques and the dynamic response of these piezoelectric cantilevers are measured by laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV). The tested results from LDV show that the deflection of the piezoelectric cantilever is linear with the driving voltage. The transverse piezoelectric constant d31 of the ZnO thin film deposited under best conditions is calculated as −3.21 pC/N by the LDV data. This value is higher than other published works. In future, these ZnO thin films will be used in our ongoing project for the design, simulation and fabrication of smart slider with a built-in ZnO sensor/actuator in the hard disk drives.
Applied surface science
© 2012 Elsevier B.V.