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Novel Method for Extracting Material Constants of Epitaxial Wurtzite AlScN Films on Sapphire Using Higher Order Surface Acoustic Wave Modes

: Feil, Niclas M.; Mayer, Elena; Christian, Björn; Ding, Anli; Zukauskaite, Agne; Ambacher, Oliver


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society:
IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2020. Symposium Proceedings : September 7-11, 2020, Las Vegas, NV, USA, Online Event
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7281-5448-0
ISBN: 978-1-7281-5449-7
4 pp.
International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) <2020, Online>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAF ()
SAW; resonator; AlScN; Higher Order Wave Modes; Saw Dispersion

Partial substitution of Al atoms with Sc in wurtzite AlN crystals increases the piezoelectric constants. This leads to an increased electromechanical coupling, which is required for high bandwidths in piezo-acoustic filters. The crystal bonds in Al1-xScxN (AlScN) are softened as function of Sc atomic percentage x, leading to reduction of phase velocity in the film. Combining high Sc content AlScN films with high velocity substrates favors higher order guided surface acoustic wave(SAW) modes [1]. This study investigates higher order SAW modes in epitaxial AlScN on sapphire (Al2O3). Their dispersion for Pt metallized epitaxial AlScN films on Al2O3 was computed for two different propagation directions. Computed phase velocity dispersion branches were experimentally verified by the characterization of fabricated SAW resonators. The results indicated four wave modes for the propagation direction (0, 0, 0),featuring 3D polarized displacement fields. The sensitivity of the wave modes to the elastic constants of AlScN was investigated. It was shown that due to the 3D polarization of the waves, all elastic constants have an influence on the phase velocity and can be measured by suitable weighting functions in material constant extraction procedures.