Quantifying Energy Loss Mechanisms in MEM Resonators by Gabrielle Vukasin

Gabrielle Vukasin

Stanford | Dana & Robert Emery

I design, fabricate and characterize MEM (microelectromechanical) resonators to create cheaper, more sensitive, and lower power accelerometers, gyroscopes, and timing references. More specifically, I focus on identifying and quantifying the specific energy loss mechanisms that plague these devices by looking at the temperature dependence of the resonator’s characteristics.


We present a bulk mode resonator whose limiting damping mechanism depends on its anchor geometry. The device is anchor-limited when the anchors are stiffer and is Akhiezer-limited with more compliant anchors. This result is determined by observing the temperature dependence of the quality factor (Q). Total Q increases by an order of magnitude with the more compliant anchors and reaches a room temperature fxQ product of 2.2×10^13 Hz. This investigation provides insight into how anchor design affects anchor damping and how to minimize other damping mechanisms to reach a total Q equal to the material loss limit.


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