Available Technology

SYSTEM OF A MECHANICAL RESONATOR

Mechanical resonators are widely used in wireless receivers, bio sensors, and timing and frequency control. Besides industry, in recent years in academia there is also considerable interest for ultrahigh precision sensing and fundamental science. A mechanical resonator with the following three advantages is desirable for both industrial and academic applications:
1. High quality factor (Q) – frequency products
2. High stability, i.e. consistent performance over time
3. Small Chip-Based Package
4. High tensile stress silicon nitride (SiN) vibrating membrane
5. A periodic support structure provides acoustic isolation

This state-of-the-art quartz oscillator has these advantages. It has a Q – frequency product that is superior to high-stability quartz oscillators. Its performance is robust to aging and packaging. Specifically, the invented system has two components:
1. A high tensile stress resonator
2. A periodic supporting substrate that forms an acoustic metamaterial, i.e., phononic bandgap
3. The entire structure – resonator and supporting substrate – can be made in a single microfabricated chip.

These components make a big impact for replacing quartz crystals. More than two billion quartz oscillators are manufactured annually. Most are small devices built for wristwatches, clocks, and electronic circuits, but also used for test and measurement equipment, such as counters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes. Atomic oscillators are used for applications that require better long-term stability and accuracy.

Patent Abstract: 

Reticulated resonator, process for making and use of same
A reticulated resonator includes: a reticulated substrate that includes: a substrate frame; and a phononic structure in mechanical communication with the substrate frame and including a plurality of unit members arranged in a two-dimensional array; and a membrane disposed on the reticulated substrate. A process for producing a membrane frequency includes: providing a reticulated resonator including: a substrate frame; a phononic structure including: a first link connected to the substrate frame; a plurality of unit members arranged in a two-dimensional array and connected to the first link and in mechanical communication with the substrate frame through the first link; and a second link connected to the unit members; a membrane frame connected to the second link and in mechanical communication with the unit members through the second link; and a membrane disposed on the membrane and in mechanical communication with the substrate frame through the membrane frame and the unit members; subjecting the membrane to an excitation frequency; receiving, by the membrane, the excitation frequency; and producing, by the membrane, a membrane mode including a membrane frequency in response to receiving the excitation frequency

Benefits 

High quality factor (Q) – frequency products; high stability, i.e. consistent performance over time; small chip-based package; high tensile stress SiN vibrating membrane; and a periodic support structure provides acoustic isolation.

Inventors: 

Raymond W. Simmonds, Katarina Cicak, Cindy A. Regal, Pen-Li Yu, Yeghishe Tsaturyan, Thomas P. Purdy, Nir S. Kampel

Patent Number: 
10,444,431
Technology Type(s): 
Manufacturing, Calibration, Electronics, Precision Measurements, Time and Frequency
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
14-028
Patent Issue Date: 
October 15, 2019
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