Journal article

Monolithic integration of Si nanowires with metallic electrodes: NEMS resonator and switch applications

The challenge of wafer-scale integration of silicon nanowires into microsystems is addressed by developing a fabrication approach that utilizes a combination of Bosch-process-based nanowire fabrication with surface micromachining and chemical-mechanical-polishing-based metal electrode/contact formation. Nanowires up to a length of 50 mu m are achieved while retaining submicron nanowire-to-electrode gaps. The scalability of the technique is demonstrated through using no patterning method other than optical lithography on conventional SOI substrates. Structural integrity of double-clamped nanowires is evaluated through a three-point bending test, where good clamping quality and fracture strengths approaching the theoretical strength of the material are observed. Resulting devices are characterized in resonator and switch applications-two areas of interest for CMOS-compatible solutions-with all-electrical actuation and readout schemes. Improvements and tuning of obtained performance parameters such as resonance frequency, quality factor and pull-in voltage are simply a question of conventional design and process adjustments. Implications of the proposed technique are far-reaching including system-level integration of either single-nanowire devices within thick Si layers or nanowire arrays perpendicular to the plane of the substrate.


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