Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Shekhar Bhansali, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elias K. Stefanakos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Larry Langebrake, P.E.


Annealing, PZT, Pyrolysis, Ultra-thin membrane, Acoustic waves


In recent years, research on development of chemical, biological and hazardous gas sensors for homeland security have attracted great deal of interest. Actuators possessing high sensitivity, easy fabrication techniques and excellent integration compatibility are in great demand. Towards this need, the development and characterization of improved solgel processing for in-house fabrication of highly sensitive and reliable Flexural Plate Wave (FPW) device was pursued

This work focuses on an experimental design approach to improve texture and morphology of PZT thin film by systematically controlling the spin, pyrolysis and anneal cycles. The process alterations resulted in an 8-fold increase in the relative intensity of perovskite (111) phase, which consequently yielded a two fold improvement in remnant polarization and coercive field compared to industry recommended processes. Optimized films showed a remnant polarization of 95.7µC/cm2 and coercive filed of 56.7 KV/cm respectively. Several designs of the interdigitated electrodes (IDE/IDT) with varying periodicity are investigated to characterize the output response of the device. The FPW device is fabricated using 2µm thick silicon nitride membrane on Pt bottom electrode with Ti/TiN as the adhesion layer. A highly sensitive flexural plate wave sensor based on the revised PZT recipe is successfully fabricated.