Processing of sol-gel PZT films for microactuators
Sol-gel derived lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin films are being investigated for micromechanical applications. A synthesis technique which involves the spin coating of several thin layers followed by rapid thermal annealing to crystallize the perovskite phase and repetition to achieve thicker films is described. Methods of improving the PZT-PZT interfaces between subsequently annealed layers are described. Specifically, the effects of introducing thin (≈ 15 nm) Pb or Ti-rich layers at the PZT-PZT interfaces were investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Both the Pb and Ti-rich interlayers are shown to yield films of improved microstructure compared to films prepared without such compositional modifications.