Norcada Stoichiometric Silicon Nitride Membrane Windows Enhance Optomechanical Performance for Quantum Study

May 29, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Edmonton, Alberta May 29, 2010 Norcada Inc. announced today the availability of Stoichiometric Silicon Nitride Membrane Windows to the opto-mechanical research community. The Stoichiometric silicon nitride membranes are ideally suited for opto-mechanical studies due to the extremely low mechanical dissipation (high Q factor) and low optical absorption of the high stress nitride film. The Stoichiometric nitride windows are fabricated with stoichiometric LPCVD silicon nitride film with stress level of 800MPa. A recent study by Caltech [1] showed the stoichiometric silicon nitride membrane Norcada fabricated can achieve a Q-frequency product in excess of 1x10E13 Hz over a wide frequency range. The same study also shows the stoichiometric nitride windows exhibit 15 times lower optical absorption in the 935nm region compared with low stress nitride windows.

In the recent Caltech study and a similar study reported earlier by a group at Yale University [2], the silicon nitride membrane is used as a mesoscopic oscillator inside a high-finesses Fabry-Perot optical cavity, and is laser cooled in an attempt to observe quantum effect of a mechanical system.

"We are pleased to see our Silicon Nitride Membrane Window Products playing an enabling role in the opto-mechanical research area," said Yuebin Ning, Vice President Research of Norcada. "The addition of the high-stress nitride windows further complements our product offerings in the area of silicon nitride windows for scientific applications". The stoichiometric silicon nitride membrane windows are available with 30nm, and 50nm thickness stoichiometric silicon nitride membranes. Other thicknesses will be introduced in the near future.

1. D.J. Wilson, C.A. Regal, S.B. Papp, and H.J. Kimble, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 207204 (2009)
2. J.D. Thompson, B. M. Zwick, A. M. Jayich, F. Marquardt, S.M. Girvin, and J. Harris, Nature 454, 72 (2008)

About Norcada:
Norcada is a micro/nano device product development company, with extensive industrial experience and capabilities in MEMS design and fabrication for Silicon Optical Benches (SiOB), sensors, X-ray microscopy windows and TEM Analysis Windows, and other commercial devices. Founded in 2001, Norcada has a state-of-the-art MEMS design, prototyping, and test facility in Edmonton, Canada, which is home to one of the largest micro and nano technology clusters in North America.