Hot off the press: new paper in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces!

The paper “Micro/Nanostructure Engineering of Epitaxial Piezoelectric alpha-quartz Thin Films on Silicon” has been recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Congratulations to Martí Gich and former N&N Group member Qianzhe Zhang, authors of this work!

This study has been carried out in collaboration with NanoChemLab from Montpellier, France. 

Abstract: The monolithic integration of sub-micron quartz structures on silicon substrates is a key issue for the future development of piezoelectric devices as prospective sensors with applications based on the operation in the high-frequency range. However, to date, it has not been possible to make existing quartz manufacturing methods compatible with integration on silicon and structuration by top-down lithographic techniques. Here, we report an unprecedented large-scale fabrication of ordered arrays of piezoelectric epitaxial quartz nanostructures on silicon substrates by the combination of soft-chemistry and three lithographic techniques: (i) laser interference lithography, (ii) soft nanoimprint lithography on Sr-doped SiO2 sol–gel thin films, and (iii) self-assembled SrCO3 nanoparticle reactive nanomasks. Epitaxial α-quartz nanopillars with different diameters (from 1 μm down to 50 nm) and heights (up to 2 μm) were obtained. This work demonstrates the complementarity of soft-chemistry and top-down lithographic techniques for the patterning of epitaxial quartz thin films on silicon while preserving its epitaxial crystallinity and piezoelectric properties. These results open up the opportunity to develop a cost-effective on-chip integration of nanostructured piezoelectric α-quartz MEMS with enhanced sensing properties of relevance in different fields of application.


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