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MEMS & PiezoMEMS sensors



VTT has explored the Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) based sensor technologies and since early 1990's being in the forefront of adoption new manufacturing technologies with its customers and collaborators. The newest generation of MEMS employs piezoelectric thin films such as AlN and its alloys like ScAlN and the piezoelectric effect for actuation and readout. VTT has matured a AlN on cavity-SOI wafers based platform and demonstrated its benefits in several applications.

Benefits of PiezoMEMS

PiezoMEMS offers high electromechanical coupling without the need for DC bias voltage - piezoelectric actuation works with plain low voltage (~1 V) AC actuation. Large force achieved with low AC voltage allows the use of simple ASIC. Furthermore, actuators require only small area - in many cases  no additional area at all - since actuators can be integrated directly on the silicon device or on its springs and  anchors. Thin film piezo actuators completely removes the need for narrow gaps, large actuator combs and do not exhibit effects like pull-in.

VTT MEMS & PiezoMEMS capabilities

VTT Offers full service for MEMS & PiezoMEMS  from feasibilty studies to proto production

  • Feasibility studies
  • Design and modelling: tailoring MEMS devices to customer needs
  • Established process flows or process integration and development service in the VTT Micronova facility:
  • Prototyping and technology transfer

Application examples

AlN based CSOI PiezoMEMS is applicable to resonant sensors and devices in the frequency range of 1 kHz to 10s - 100 of MHz.


  • Resonators from kHz to 10's of MHz range: high coupling, temperature compensated Si device layer. Read more >
  • Gyroscopes, inertial sensors: low voltage, large amplitude. Read more >
  • Optical mirror for  beam scanning in an automotive LIDAR: compact actuators, large amplitude

 MEMS_photo1.png26 MHz bulk mode AlN-on-Si resonator, piezoactuated orbiting gyro, and a wobbling mode LIDAR mirror.

Other MEMS platforms run by VTT

MEMS_photo2.pngSurface MEMS CMUT-array; SOI MEMS spring detail; Piezoelectric ultrasound transducer array (PMUT), Microacoustic Lamb wave resonator

  • Surface-MEMS  platform (pressure sensor, CMUT…)
  • SOI, cavity-SOI platforms (electrostatic MEMS)
  • Thin film piezo platforms for RF microacoustics (BAW/FBAR) and ultrasound transducers (PMUT)
  • Read more about our MEMS technologies >



​​Interested? Find out more