Thin-fi lm piezoelectric MEMS

Chang Beom Eom, Susan Trolier-McKinstry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Major challenges have emerged as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) move to smaller size and increased integration density, while requiring fast response and large motions. Continued scaling to nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) requires revolutionary advances in actuators, sensors, and transducers. MEMS and NEMS utilizing piezoelectric thin fi lms provide the required large linear forces with fast actuation at small drive voltages. This, in turn, provides accurate displacements at high integration densities, reduces the voltage burden on the integrated control electronics, and decreases NEMS complexity. These advances are enabled by the rapidly growing fi eld of thin-fi lm piezoelectric MEMS, from the development of AlN fi lms for resonator and fi lter applications, to their implementation in adaptive radio front ends, to the demonstration of large piezoelectricity in epitaxial Pb(Zr,Ti)O 3 and PbMg 1/3 Nb 2/3 O 3 -PbTiO 3 thin fi lms. Applications of low voltage MEMS/NEMS include transducers for ultrasound medical imaging, robotic insects, inkjet printing, mechanically based logic, and energy harvesting. As described in this article, advances in the fi eld are being driven by and are prompting advances in heterostructure design and theoretical investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1017
Number of pages11
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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