Piezoelectric MEMS resonator research has been gaining substantial traction in recent times and it has been advancing on multiple fronts such as micro-resonator design, fabrication techniques, integration with circuitry, packaging, etc. Resonators are frequency selective tanks that sustain standing waves within the device geometry at designed frequencies. Variations in the resonator’s output amplitude or frequency are monitored for sensor applications. Piezoelectricity transduction-based devices are an integral part of inertial sensors, infrared sensors, energy harvesters, radio frequency communication front end modules, etc. To improve the functionality of the aforementioned modules it is cardinal to understand the underlying concepts of resonator design, material selection, and performance enhancement techniques. In this tutorial, a comprehensive overview of various piezoelectric thin-film material properties along with different commercial microfabrication platforms with CMOS integration facilities shall be presented. A synopsis of the several acoustic and material engineering approaches to enhance the figure of merit of the resonator will also be elaborated. Piezoelectricity is a very promising field and its future avenues are expected to cover a wide spectrum of possibilities such as 5G communication, quantum processing, frequency combs, photonics integration, gesture sensors, inertial measurement units, etc.

Sensing using THz radiation

The emerging application of sub-THz and THz technology for 6G communications (including future 6G Wi-Fi) has focused attention on the THz sensing and detection technology.  This tutorial will cover
  • THz detection for 6G communications (in sub- THz and THz atmospheric windows)
  • THz sensing of biological and chemical hazardous agents
  • THz cancer detection and other medical applications
  • THz homeland security applications
  • THz sensing in radioastronomy and space research
  • THz sensing for industrial control
  • THz scanning detection for VLSI yield and reliability control
  • THz scanning for hardware cyber security.
The  overview of the THz sensing technology will include the state-of-the-art THz sources. These sources range from traditional pulsed THz sources and frequency multipliers using IMPATT and Gunn diodes to Quantum Cascade lasers and THz plasmonic arrays. I will then discuss the THz detectors including emerging Si, III-V, III-N, and graphene plasmonic TeraFETs and spectroscopic and line-of-sight vector THz detection.  The THz detection for 6G communications in the 300 GHz range could be implemented using  Si CMOS with the 20 nm SOI technology node being a prime candidate for this application.

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