An ultrathin integrated nanoelectromechanical transducer based on hafnium zirconium oxide

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Nanomechanical resonators that can operate in the super high frequency (3–30 GHz) or the extremely high frequency (30–300 GHz) regime could be of use in the development of stable frequency references, wideband spectral processors and high-resolution resonant sensors. However, such operation requires the dimensions of the mechanical resonators to be reduced to tens of nanometres, and current devices typically rely on transducers, for which miniaturization and chip-scale integration are challenging. Here, we show that integrated nanoelectromechanical transducers can be created using 10-nm-thick ferroelectric hafnium zirconium oxide (Hf0.5Zr0.5O2) films. The transducers are integrated on silicon and aluminium nitride membranes, and can yield resonators with frequencies from 340 kHz to 13 GHz and frequency–quality-factor products of up to 3.97 × 1012. Using electrical and optical probes, we show that the electromechanical transduction behaviour of the Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 film is based on the electrostrictive effect, and highlight the role of nonlinear electromechanical scattering in the operation of the resonator.

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Fig. 1: Atomically engineered polycrystalline Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 with predominant orthorhombic crystal phase.
Fig. 2: A 339 kHz Hf0.5Zr0.5O2-transduced Si membrane resonator.
Fig. 3: Hf0.5Zr0.5O2-transduced AlN-on-Si lateral- and thickness-extensional mode resonators.
Fig. 4: Time- and frequency-domain response of Hf0.5Zr0.5O2-transduced Si resonator for different ferroelectric polarization scenarios.
Fig. 5: The output power spectrum around the fundamental, second and third harmonics for the Hf0.5Zr0.5O2-transduced AlN-on-Si resonator operating in lateral-extensional mode, for various input radio-frequency powers.
Fig. 6: Comparison of electromechanical and thermomechanical scattering using fundamental, second and third harmonics.

Data availability

The authors declare that the main data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article and its Supplementary Information. Extra data are available from the corresponding author on request.


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We would like to thank the Nanoscale Research Facility at the University of Florida for the fabrication facilities and N. Rudawski for help with TEM. This work was supported in part by the NSF grants ECCS 1610387 and ECCS 1752206.

Author information

M.G. designed, fabricated and measured the resonators. G.W. fabricated and characterized the Hf0.5Zr0.5O2 ferroelectric film. T.N. and R.T. supervised the project and provided guidance throughout the process. All authors participated in analysing the results and contributed to writing the manuscript. All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript.

Correspondence to Roozbeh Tabrizian.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Sections 1–3, containing Supplementary Figs. 1–8.

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Ghatge, M., Walters, G., Nishida, T. et al. An ultrathin integrated nanoelectromechanical transducer based on hafnium zirconium oxide. Nat Electron 2, 506–512 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41928-019-0305-3

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