Symposium FC
Research Advances on Micro/Nano Systems and their Applications


FC:KL2  High Performance Flexible and Printed Electronics
R. DAHIYA, Bendable Electronics and Sensing Technologies (BEST) Group, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Printed electronics has attracted significant interest in recent years due to simple, cost-effective fabrication, reduced e-waste and potential for the development of multifunctional devices over large areas. Over the years, various printing technologies have been developed to pattern flexible surfaces to develop wide range of electronic devices. A large part of the research so far has focussed on organic semiconductors-based devices, even if the modest performance they offer is insufficient for several emerging applications (e. g. internet of things (IoTs), smart cities, robotics, etc.) where fast computation and communication are required. The high-performance requirements could be addressed with printed devices from high-mobility materials such as single crystal silicon (Si) and graphene. This talk will present the printing methodologies (i.e. contact and transfer printing) that are being explored for high-performance devices and circuits using nano to macro scale structures such as semiconductor nanowires (NWs), nanoribbon (NR), and ultra-thin chips (UTCs) as well as graphene. Few examples of high-performance devices obtained using contact and transfer printing will also be presented.

FC:KL3  (Porous) Silicon NanoPhotonics: Applications, Opportunities and Challenges
G. BARILLARO, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione, Università di Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Silicon photonics holds the promise to revolutionize devices, circuits, and applications. Recently, porous silicon, a sponge-like nanostructured form of silicon, has emerged as a new material for silicon photonics, thanks to an effective tuning of the refractive index of the material to a large extent in 3D and to the room available within the pore of the sponge-like structure to host additional materials. These two properties significantly increase the degreed of freedom in the space of parameters of porous silicon for the fabrication of photonic devices and systems, with respect to bulk crystalline silicon. Solid state lasers, photonic crystal components, microlens embedding optical components, high-sensitivity biosensors are only a few examples of recently reported photonic devices and systems based on porous silicon. In this keynote lecture, applications and opportunities of nanostructured porous silicon in silicon photonics are reviewed and challenges towards commercial applications are discussed.

FC-1:IL01  MEMS Cantilever Sensors
M. Fahrbach, J. Xu, E. PEINER, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Semiconductor Technology (IHT), and Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), Braunschweig, Germany

Cantilevers as the most basic micromechanical spring-mass system recently showed increasing potential for commercial application beyond atomic force microscopy, e. g., for personal environmental monitoring (smoke, ultrafine particles (UFPs), humidity, ethanol, NO2, …) and high-throughput production metrology. Here, we describe application-specific designs, e.g., high-Q lateral resonators for femtogram mass sensing and millimeters-long slender cantilevers for high-speed tactile probing of high-aspect-ratio workpieces. Electrothermal/piezoelectric and piezoresistive principles were employed and implemented in the microelectromechanical system (MEMS) manufacturing processes. Integrated ZnO nanowire arrays and self-assembled monolayer (SAM) coatings were investigated for improving sensitivity and response time in case of gas sensing. Electrostatic separation/collection methods were employed for size-selective gravimetric UFP monitoring. A cantilever-based system based on our commercialized micro tactile sensor (CAN series by CiS GmbH, Erfurt, Germany) has been further developed for measuring of surface topography and viscoelasticity using force-deflection curves (FDCs) and contact resonance spectroscopy (CRS) on the milli-to-nanometer length scale.

FC-1:IL02  3D-printing and Wet-metallization for Sensors: a Coriolis Mass Flowmeter Operating in the Mode-split Conditions
V. ZEGA1, L. Gaffuri Pagani2, M. Invernizzi3, C. Credi3, R. Suriano3, R. Bernasconi3, P. Carulli2, A. Frangi1, M. Levi3, L. Magagnin3, G. Langfelder2, A. Corigliano1, 1DICA, Politecnico di Milano; 2DEIB, Politecnico di Milano; 3CMIC, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

In the framework of the MEMS&3D Lab of Politecnico di Milano, a new fabrication process that combines the stereolithography (SL) 3D printing with wet-metallization techniques has been recently proposed to respond to the increasing request of the sensors customizability and three-dimensionality at low cost. Z-axis and triaxal accelerometers have been succesfully fabricated and tested so far. This work aims at going one step further by introducing channels in the proposed process, thus enabling the fluidic sensors. A Coriolis Flowmeter with mm-size channels is designed, fabricated, and tested. The flowmeter structure, made by a thin rectangular spiral channel, is fabricated through the SL 3D printing. Wet metallization (1μm-thick Cu layer) is employed to provide the conductivity needed to electrostatically excite the drive mode and capacitively detect the flow-induced motion. The structure is then mounted on a printed circuit electronic board, where the actuation and readout electrodes are properly designed, with a nominal 200μm capacitive gap from the sensor, together with the actuation and low-noise detection circuits. The first experimental tests provide 60μV/(g/h) scale factor and a 3g/h rms resolution on a 1Hz bandwidth. The nominal, untested, full-scale range is 50kg/h.

FC-1:IL05  MEMS and Microsystems for Space Applications
M. Rais-Zadeh, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA, USA

For space applications, the design of payload instruments flows directly from the science measurement requirements. Trade-off studies assess instrument design alternatives that can produce the required measurements within the constraints set by fundamental physics, the state of the technology, and cost. The space science community is exploring many avenues for the reduction of mission costs, including reduced science goals, reduced spacecraft size, reduced payload capability, etc. The use of technological developments such as MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) is particularly attractive because it provides an avenue for the reduction of mission costs without sacrificing mission capability. In this talk, a number of advanced MEMS and Microsystems are discussed with applications in NASA planetary exploration as well as Human health monitoring in Space. These systems offer reduced mass, power, and size while meeting the objectives drawn from the science requirements.

FC-2:IL02  Monolithic Silicon Carbide Intracortical Neural Interfaces for Long-term Human Implantation
C. Frewin1, M. Beygi2, E. Bernardin2, C. Feng2, 3, F. La Via4, W. Dominguez-Viqueira5, S.E. Saddow2, 6, 1NeuroNexus, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 2Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 3Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA; 4IMM-CNR, Catania, Sicily, Italy; 5Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA; 6Dept. of Medical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Silicon Carbide (SiC) has been demonstrated as both a bio- and neuro-compatible wide-band-gap semiconductor and may be potentially compatible with human brain tissue. Two single-crystal, solid-state forms of SiC have been used to create monolithic intracortical neural implants (INI) without using physiologically exposed metals or polymers, thus eliminating many known reliability challenges in-vivo through a single, homogenous material. Amorphous SiC (a-SiC) was used to insulate 16 channel functional INI probes and the electrochemical and MRI compatibility (7T) performance were measured. 4H-SiC and 3C-SiC interfaces were fabricated epitaxialy using alternating epitaxial films of n-type and p-type forming an isolating PN junction which prevents substrate leakage current between the 16 adjacent electrodes and traces fabricated which were formed using deep-reactive ion etching (DRIE). Electrochemical charaterization achieved through electrochemcial impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) indicates performance on par, or exceeding, that of Pt reference electrodes with the same form fit. In this work the MRI compliance of epitaxial, monolithic SiC INI was studied.

FC-2:IL04  Monitoring Integration Processes of Individual Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes into Sensors by Raman Spectroscopy
M. Haluska, S. Jung, C. Roman, C. Hierold, Micro and Nanosystems ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

In this contribution we are focusing on impacts of various integration processes of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes (iSWCNTs) into sensors with field-effect transistors architecture, where iSWCNTs serve as sensing elements. To identify critical processes we used various techniques including Raman spectroscopy. The proper selection of both, device fabrication and monitoring conditions is very important to avoid possible degradation of the nanotube properties. Our SWCNT based gas sensors were fabricated either by standard photo- or electron-beam lithography, or by ultra-clean mechanical transfer from “growth chips” into the final devices. The SWCNT’s diameter, structural quality, induced strain, doping and nanotube type were estimated from the position of the Raman radial breathing mode (RBM), from the ratio of D and G mode intensities and from Raman mode shifts and profiles. Improvement of device fabrication based on the process monitoring results, for example, in eight times reduction in variation of iCNTFET electrical resistance with substrate-bound nanotubes [1] and in better understanding of sensor functionalities.
Reference: [1] Liu, W., Chikkadi, K., Hierold, C., Haluska M., phys. Stat. solidi b, 253, pp 2417-2423 (2016).

FC-3:L02  Systematization of Magnetic Structures in Magnetistrictive Microwires for Sensor Application
A. Chizhik, J. Gonzalez, Universidad del País Vasco, UPV/EHU, San Sebastián, Spain; A. Zhukov, Universidad del País Vasco, UPV/EHU, San Sebastián, Spain & IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Spain; A. Stupakiewicz, Laboratory of Magnetism, University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland; P. Gawronski, AGH Univ. of Science and Technology, Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, Krakow, Poland

Wide application of microwire based magnetic sensors requires continuous improvement of the elemental base. We have reached a certain level of understanding of the physical processes ongoing in glass covered microwires. We have examined the main stages of the microwires preparation to serve the base for the magnetic sensors: selection of composition, geometric parameters, magnetic and annealing modes. Now we focus on helical magnetic structure which is very sensible to external influence. The experiments have been performed in magnetostrictive microwires: as cast and annealed in the presence of tension stress. Transformation between different types of helical magnetic structure was observed. Experimentally, magnetic structures with different angle of spirality or elliptic magnetic structure were observed as a result of fabrication process, post-processing or external stress. The helical magnetic structures of different types were observed as a result of the micromagnetic simulations performed under variation of magnetostriction. The comparative analysis of the experimental results and simulation permits to reveal the direct relation of the type of magnetic helical structure with the value of the magnetostrictive coefficient reflected the internal stress distribution.

FC-3:IL03  On-site Energy using Piezoelectric Thin Films
HIROKI KUWANO, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

This presentation describes piezoelectric micro energy harvesters for on-site energy of IoT devices. Micro energy harvesting will play an important role in maintenance-free and cost-effective sensor networks of IoT (Internet of Things) since it does not need wiring or batteries, even though, today’s sensor network systems usually use electrochemical batteries for their power supplies. The paper outlines vibration-driven energy harvesters using AlN and its family as piezoelectric materials and discusses some of their important characteristics to realize highly efficient micro energy harvesting.

FC-3:L04  Handling of Direct Laser Written Micro-structures via Ultrathin Films for Controlled Placement on Complex Surfaces
A. Ottomaniello, M. Carlotti, O. Tricinci, V. Mattoli, Center for Materials Interfaces, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Pontedera, Italy; F. Van Den Hoed, P. Raffa, Department of Chemical Engineering - Product Technology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

Standard micro-nano fabrication techniques are usually performed on planar surfaces with nanometric feature alignment and resolution. However, substrates with curved or multi-oriented surfaces can only be targeted by set-ups requiring a high level of complexity in terms of sample mounting and lithographic alignment and focusing, achieving much lower fabrication performances than standard processes. Here, we show the developed technique which allows to handle micro-structures already fabricated by 3D direct laser writing, in order to finely align and conformably place them on target objects. This is achieved through the exploitation of an ultra-thin polymeric film used as temporary freestanding support. The objects are directly fabricated on a few tens of nanometers thin film, able to spontaneously delaminate in water. Once released, the film can be recollected and freely suspended on a frame and thus transferred with micrometer precision on the specific surface targeted. Several demonstrators have been developed, including the conformal transfer of an array of tiny microstructures on a metallic wire of 12 μm radius.

FC-4:IL01  Metamaterials Based RF Microsystems for Telecommunication Applications
R. MARCELLI, E. Proietti, G.M. Sardi, G. Capoccia, CNR-IMM, Roma, Italy; G. Bartolucci, University of Roma “Tor Vergata”, Roma, Italy

The necessity for developing tuneable, small size high frequency components for RADAR and Telecommunication applications inspired the joint development of design techniques related to meta-materials (MM) and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) for RF configurations. The idea of integrating MEMS with metamaterial structures started with the use of varactor diodes to achieve tunability, which is one of the important features of a metamaterial-based structures (Degiron, Mock, & Smith, 2007; Gil et al., 2004; Gorkunov & Lapine, 2004; Reynet & Acher, 2004), and to improve the performance of conventional distributed passive devices (Bonache, Gil, Garcia-Garcia, & Martin, 2006; Garcia-Garcia et al., 2005). The current main objective is to develop components for signal transmission and irradiation sub-systems in the K (18 - 26.5 GHz), Ka (26.5-40 GHz), and Q (33 - 50 GHz) bands, of great interest for RADAR and satellite systems. MMs are used to create materials with electromagnetic properties that do not have an analogue in nature; for example, they may show a negative refractive index. RF MEMS exhibit frequency tunability functions for digital or analogue re-configurability of high frequency components, using an electrostatic control, by means of a complete actuation or for partial modification of the mechanical micro-structure. Recently, lifetimes exceeding ten years have been demonstrated for this technology, but TRL is still an issue for the full applicability to Space and RADAR systems. In this contribution, the technological solutions suitable for wide band performance, easily reconfigurable and superior miniaturization capabilities of passive RF MM-MEMS components will be reviewed.


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