GaN based MEMS resonator operates stably at high temperature: Page 2 of 2

January 18, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
GaN based MEMS resonator operates stably at high temperature
Promising as a highly sensitive oscillator for 5G as well as IoT timing devices, in-vehicle applications, and advanced driver assistance systems.

The GaN-based MEMS resonator was verified to operate stably even at 600 K. It showed a high temporal resolution and good temporal stability with little frequency shift when the temperature was increased. This is because the internal thermal strain compensated the frequency shift and reduced the energy dissipation. Since the device is small, highly sensitive and can be integrated with CMOS technology, it is promising for use in 5G communication, IoT timing devices, in-vehicle applications, and advanced driver assistance systems.

(a) The temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) of the GaN resonator at different temperature; (b) The quality factor of the GaN resonator at different temperature. The temporal stability of a resonator is defined by temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF). TCF indicates a change of the resonance frequency with changing temperature. For the Si MEMS resonator, its intrinsic TCF is ~ -30 ppm/K. Several methods were proposed to reduce the TCF of Si resonator, but the quality factors of the system were greatly degraded. The quality factor of a resonator in the system can be used to determine the frequency resolution. A high quality factor is required for the accurate frequency reference. The developed GaN resonator in this work can simultaneously achieve a low TCF and high quality factor up to 600 K. The TCF is as low as -5 ppm/K. The quality factor is more than 105, which is the highest one ever reported in GaN system. Image courtesy of Liwen Sang.

The research was supported by JST's Strategic Basic Research Program, Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology(PRESTO). This study was presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM2020) held online on December 12-18, 2020, titled "Self-Temperature-Compensated GaN MEMS Resonators through Strain Engineering up to 600 K.”

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