The MEMS (microelectromechanical system) technology is an emerging and rapidly developed technology in the past decade. With the progress of MEMS technologies, several types of micro-scale mechanical structures can be fabricated on silicon wafers, which have been proven stable, reliable and ready for commercial use. Particularly the silicon MEMS resonators (oscillators), which are believed to replace the quartz oscillators, are already in the market with an estimated market size of $650 million annually. However, a few technical difficulties, especially how to reduce the TCF (temperature coefficient of frequency) in order to achieve high temperature stability, compromise the high-performance of the silicon MEMS resonators.
A research group in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of University of Michigan has developed a technique to achieve small or near-zero first-order TCF of MEMS resonators, such as +/- 0.5ppm/K in the range 1-10 MHz. Moreover, such a technique can be applied to various resonator structures, and comparable TCFs are expected based on the simulation result. In addition, the apparatus may be fabricated using currently standard technologies.
Applications and Advantages
- Silicon MEMS resonator/ oscillator.
- Radio Frequency-MEMS.
- Time and inertial measurement in electronic systems.
- High temperature stability and high quality factor.
- Fabrication process based on standard technologies.