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Temperature dependence of the pyroelectric coefficient of AlScN thin films

: Kurz, Nicolas; Lu, Yuan; Kirste, Lutz; Reusch, Markus; Zukauskaite, Agne; Lebedev, Vadim; Ambacher, Oliver


Physica status solidi. A 215 (2018), Nr.13, Art. 1700831, 7 S.
ISSN: 0031-8965
ISSN: 1862-6300
ISSN: 1521-396X
ISSN: 1862-6319
Fraunhofer IAF ()
Key Publication

The piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties of aluminum nitride (AlN) can be further enhanced by alloying AlN with scandium nitride (ScN). However, while the pyroelectric effect can strongly affect the performance of electroacoustic devices such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators, the pyroelectric properties of aluminum scandium nitride (AlScN) and their thermal dependence are not well known. In this work, the crystallographic, microstructural, and pyroelectric properties of 900 nm thick pyroelectric Al(1-x)ScxN thin films (x=0 to 0.3) are investigated. All films have wurtzite-type crystal structure and are highly c-axis oriented. The pyroelectric coefficient in the temperature range of 20–80 C is determined by measuring the generated current as a function of sinusoidal temperature excitation. The effective pyroelectric coefficient of AlScN increases by approximately 85% in the investigated composition range. Moreover, no temperature dependence of the effective pyroelectric coefficient is observed for all samples. The increase of the effective pyroelectric coefficient is explained qualitatively by considering the contribution of primary and secondary pyroelectric effect as well as the substrate clamping.