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Application of Mass Transport in Solid Electrolyte Films in Tunable Microelectromechanical Resonators

M.N. Kozicki, C.L. Brown III, M. Mitkova, S. Enderling, J. Hedley and A.J. Walton
Arizona State University, US

MEMS, resonator, tuning, electrodeposit, electrolyte

We report on the initial results of a study involving a novel materials scheme – a solid electrolyte-electrodeposit system based on germanium selenide glass doped with silver – which holds great promise as a means for in-situ tuning of resonant microelectromechanical structures. These ternary materials are excellent solid electrolytes due to the high mobility and availability of silver ions and as such can be used to move significant amounts of ionic silver over distances of many microns via a combination of ion transport and electrodeposition/reduction. It is possible to coat a resonator device, e.g., a 1 micron thick polycrystalline silicon beam fixed only at its ends, with a film of this electrolyte less than 100 nm thick and move mass to the vibrating region from a source of oxidizable metal on an anchor point by the application of a small voltage. This will change the mass distribution and stiffness of the moving portion and consequently the resonant frequency of the element. We have performed a set of “proof of concept” experiments that led to a simple demonstration of this tuning technique and the results of these are described in this paper.

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