Researcher Adrian Carretero‐Genevrier, from the Institut d'Electronique et des Systèmes (IES) (CNRS, Université de Montpellier), and co‐workers including ICMAB researchers Martí Gich and Andrés Gómez, develop in the article published in Advanced Materials Technology, epitaxial nanostructured α‐quartz micro‐cantilevers on silicon, through the combination of soft‐chemistry and top‐down approaches for piezoelectric sensor devices. The α‐quartz MEMS show excellent force and mass sensitivity while preserving the mechanical quality factor. Additionally, the α‐quartz patterned micro‐cantilevers are biocompatible, which rendered cell adhesion and proliferation equivalent to that of conventional glass coverslips.
The article has been now featured as an inside cover for the journal. "The cover represents a nanostructured epitaxial piezoelectric quartz‐based microcantilevers produced using a combination of soft-chemistry and SOI technology. It allows controlling the dimensions of piezoelectric quartz‐based cantilevers down to unprecedented thincknesses (200 to 1000 nm) with a precise nanostructuration while preserving a coherent (100)quartz/(100)silicon crystalline interface" explains Martí Gich, researcher at the NN group at ICMAB.
"The microcantilevers are appealing for improving the sensitivity of mass sensing devices based on the shift of resonance frequency or for research studies on the effects of surface topography and mechanical stimulation in cellular processes. Indeed an important finding of the study is that cell proliferation on the patterned quartz surfaces of cantilevers is as good as in conventional high‐performance glass coverslips widely used in biology studies" adds Andrés Gómez, researcher and responsible of the Scanning Probe Microscopy Lab at ICMAB.
Abstract of the paper:
The development of advanced piezoelectric α‐quartz microelectromechanical system (MEMS) for sensing and precise frequency control applications requires the nanostructuration and on‐chip integration of this material on silicon material. However, the current quartz manufacturing methods are based on bonding bulk micromachined crystals on silicon, which limits the size, the performance, the integration cost, and the scalability of quartz microdevices.
Here, chemical solution deposition, soft‐nanoimprint lithography, and top‐down microfabrication processes are combined to develop the first nanostructured epitaxial (100)α‐quartz/(100)Si piezoelectric cantilevers. The coherent Si/quartz interface and film thinness combined with a controlled nanostructuration on silicon–insulator–silicon technology substrates provide high force and mass sensitivity while preserving the mechanical quality factor of the microelectromechanical systems. This work proves that biocompatible nanostructured epitaxial piezoelectric α‐quartz‐based MEMS on silicon can be engineered at low cost by combining soft‐chemistry and top‐down lithographic techniques.
Quartz‐Based Cantilevers: Soft‐Chemistry‐Assisted On‐Chip Integration of Nanostructured α‐Quartz Microelectromechanical System
Claire Jolly, Andres Gomez, David Sánchez‐Fuentes, Dilek Cakiroglu, Raïssa Rathar, Nicolas Maurin, Ricardo Garcia‐Bermejo, Benoit Charlot, Martí Gich, Michael Bahriz, Laura Picas, Adrian Carretero‐Genevrier
Advanced Materials Technologies, 6, 2, 2000831, 2021.
Cover: DOI: 10.1002/admt.202170014