In this paper we demonstrate the fabrication of large arrays of ultrathin freestanding membranes (tynodes) for application in a timed photon counter (TiPC), a novel photomultiplier for single electron detection. Low pressure chemical vapour deposited silicon nitride (Si x N y ) and atomic layer deposited alumina (Al2O3) with thicknesses down to only 5 nm are employed for the membrane fabrication. Detailed characterization of structural, mechanical and chemical properties of the utilized films is carried out for different process conditions and thicknesses. Furthermore, the performance of the tynodes is investigated in terms of secondary electron emission, a fundamental attribute that determines their applicability in TiPC. Studied features and presented fabrication methods may be of interest for other MEMS application of alumina and silicon nitride as well, in particular where strong ultra-thin membranes are required.
- atomic layer deposited alumina
- LPCVD silicon nitride
- secondary electron emission
- timed photon counter
- ultra-thin membranes