IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits

Modeling, design, and verification for the analog front-end of a MEMS-based parallel scanning-probe storage device

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We present an integrated analog front-end (AFE) for the read-channel of a parallel scanning-probe storage device. The read/write element is based on an array of microfabricated silicon cantilevers equipped with heating elements to form nanometer-sized indentations in a polymer surface using integral atomic-force microscope (AFM) tips. An accurate cantilever model based on the combination of a thermal/electrical lumped-element model and a behavioral model of the electrostatic/mechanical part are introduced. The behavioral model of the electrostatic/mechanical part is automatically generated from a full finite-element model (FEM). The model is completely implemented in Verilog-A and was used to co-develop the integrated analog front-end circuitry together with the read/write cantilever. The cantilever model and the analog front-end were simulated together and the results were experimentally verified. The approach chosen is well suited for system-level simulation and verification/extraction in a design environment based on standard EDA tools. © 2007 IEEE.