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Nonlinearity can give rise to intermodulation distortions in surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices operating at high input power levels. To understand such undesired effects, a finite element method (FEM) simulation model in combination with a perturbation theory is applied to find out the role of different materials and higher order nonlinear tensor data for the nonlinearities in such acoustic devices. At high power, the SAW devices containing metal, piezoelectric substrate, and temperature compensating (TC) layers are subject to complicated geometrical, material, and other nonlinearities. In this paper, third-order nonlinearities in TC-SAW devices are investigated. The materials used are LiNbO 3 -rot128YX as the substrate and copper electrodes covered with a SiO 2 film as the TC layer. An effective nonlinearity constant for a given system is determined by comparison of nonlinear P-matrix simulations to third-order intermodulation measurements of test filters in a first step. By employing these constants from different systems, i.e., different metallization ratios, in nonlinear periodic P-matrix simulations, a direct comparison to nonlinear periodic FEM-simulations yields scaling factors for the materials used. Thus, the contribution of the different materials to the nonlinear behavior of TC-SAW devices is obtained and the role of metal electrodes, substrate, and TC film are discussed in detail.

Among the various types of guided acoustic waves, acoustic wedge waves are non-diffractive and non-dispersive. Both properties make them susceptible to nonlinear effects. Investigations have recently been focused on effects of second-order nonlinearity in connection with anisotropy. The current status of these investigations is reviewed in the context of earlier work on nonlinear properties of two-dimensional guided acoustic waves, in particular surface waves. The role of weak dispersion, leading to solitary waves, is also discussed. For anti-symmetric flexural wedge waves propagating in isotropic media or in anisotropic media with reflection symmetry with respect to the wedge’s mid-plane, an evolution equation is derived that accounts for an effective third-order nonlinearity of acoustic wedge waves. For the kernel functions occurring in the nonlinear terms of this equation, expressions in terms of overlap integrals with Laguerre functions are provided, which allow for their quantitative numerical evaluation. First numerical results for the efficiency of third-harmonic generation of flexural wedge waves are presented.

For an elastic medium containing a homogeneous distribution of micro-cracks, an effective one-dimensional stress-strain relation has been determined with finite element simulations. In addition to flat micro-cracks, voids were considered that contain a Hertzian contact, which represents an example for micro-cracks with internal structure. The orientation of both types of micro-cracks was fully aligned or, for flat micro-cracks, totally random. For micro-cracks with Hertzian contacts, the case of random orientation was treated in an approximate way. The two types of defects were found to give rise to different degrees of non-analytic behavior of the effective stress-strain relation, which governs the nonlinear propagation of symmetric (S0) Lamb waves in the long-wavelength limit. The presence of flat micro-cracks causes even harmonics to grow linearly with propagation distance with amplitudes proportional to the amplitude of the fundamental wave, and gives rise to a static strain. The presence of the second type of defects leads to a linear growth of all harmonics with amplitudes proportional to the power 3/2 of the fundamental amplitude, and to a strain-dependent velocity shift. Simple expressions are given for the growth rates of higher harmonics of S0 Lamb waves in terms of the parameters occurring in the effective stress-strain relation. They have partly been determined quantitatively with the help of the FEM results for different micro-crack concentrations.

Micro-cracks give rise to non-analytic behavior of the stress-strain relation. For the case of a homogeneous spatial distribution of aligned flat micro-cracks, the influence of this property of the stress-strain relation on harmonic generation is analyzed for Rayleigh waves and for acoustic wedge waves with the help of a simple micromechanical model adopted from the literature. For the efficiencies of harmonic generation of these guided waves, explicit expressions are derived in terms of the corresponding linear wave fields. The initial growth rates of the second harmonic, i.e., the acoustic nonlinearity parameter, has been evaluated numerically for steel as matrix material. The growth rate of the second harmonic of Rayleigh waves has also been determined for microcrack distributions with random orientation, using a model expression for the strain energy in terms of strain invariants known in a geophysical context.

Existing ultrasonic stress evaluation methods utilize the acoustoelastic effect for bulk waves propagating in volume, which is unsuitable for a surface treated material, possessing a significant variation in material properties with depth. With knowledge of nonlinear elastic parameters – third-order elastic constants (TOEC) close to the surface of the sample, the acoustoelastic effect might be used with surface acoustic waves. This work is focused on the development of an independent method of TOEC measurement using the effect of nonlinear surface acoustic waves scattering – i.e. the effect of elastic waves interaction in a nonlinear medium.
In this paper, the possible three wave interactions of surface guided waves and bulk waves are described and formulae for the efficiency of harmonic generation and mode mixing are derived. A comparison of the efficiency of surface waves scattering in an isotropic medium for different interaction types is carried out with the help of nonlinear perturbation theory. First results for surface and bulk wave mixing with known second- and third-order elastic constants are shown.