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In the framework of electro-elasticity theory and the finite element method (FEM), a model is set up for the computation of quantities in surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices accounting for nonlinear effects. These include second-order and third-order intermodulations, second and third harmonic generation and the influence of electro-acoustic nonlinearity on the frequency characteristics of SAW resonators. The model is based on perturbation theory, and requires input material constants, e.g., the elastic moduli up to fourth order for all materials involved. The model is two-dimensional, corresponding to an infinite aperture, but all three Cartesian components of the displacement and electrical fields are accounted for. The first version of the model pertains to an infinite periodic arrangement of electrodes. It is subsequently generalized to systems with a finite number of electrodes. For the latter version, a recursive algorithm is presented which is related to the cascading scheme of Plessky and Koskela and strongly reduces computation time and memory requirements. The model is applied to TC-SAW systems with copper electrodes buried in an oxide film on a LiNbO3 substrate. Results of computations are presented for the electrical current due to third-order intermodulations and the displacement field associated with the second harmonic and second-order intermodulations, generated by monochromatic input tones. The scope of this review is limited to methodological aspects with the goal to enable calculations of nonlinear quantities in SAW devices on inexpensive and easily accessible computing platforms.

Recently a P-matrix and COM formalism was presented, which predicts third order intermodulation (IMD3) and triple beat with good accuracy and needs only a single nonlinearity constant. This formalism describes frequency dependence correctly. In this work the dependence of this nonlinearity constant on metalization ratio is investigated for aluminum metalization on LiTaO 3 (YXl)/42°. By comparison to test devices the nonlinearity constant is shown to be largely independent of metalization ratio. The nonlinear effect, however, strongly depends on metalization ratio, which is well described by the model. The linearity of a duplexer is optimized by reduction of metalization ratio and redesign of Tx branch topology.

In this work the nonlinear behavior of layered surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators is studied with the help of finite element (FE) computations. The full calculations depend strongly on the availability of accurate tensor data. While there are accurate material data for linear computations, the complete sets of higher-order material constants, needed for nonlinear simulations, are still not available for relevant materials. To overcome this problem, scaling factors were used for each available nonlinear tensor. The approach here considers piezoelectricity, dielectricity, electrostriction, and elasticity constants up to the fourth order. These factors act as a phenomenological estimate for incomplete tensor data. Since no set of fourth-order material constants for LiTaO3 is available, an isotropic approximation for the fourth-order elastic constants was applied. As a result, it was found that the fourth-order elastic tensor is dominated by one-fourth order Lamé constant. With the help of the FE model, derived in two different, but equivalent ways, we investigate the nonlinear behavior of a SAW resonator with a layered material stack. The focus was set to third-order nonlinearity. Accordingly, the modeling approach is validated using measurements of third-order effects in test resonators. In addition, the acoustic field distribution is analyzed.

In a SAW device comprises a SAW chip bearing a SAW transducer arranged within a first signal line parasitic signals due to higher harmonics of the operating frequency of the SAW devices are electrically eliminated by compensating means comprising at least one second signal line having means for producing a cancelling signal different in sign or phase to the parasitic signal, or a shunt line to electrically connect the SAW transducer to a back side metallization of the SAW chip.

In einer SAW-Vorrichtung, welche einen SAW-Chip umfasst, der einen SAW-Wandler aufweist, welcher innerhalb einer ersten Signalleitung angeordnet ist, werden Parasitärsignale infolge höherer Harmonischer der Betriebsfrequenz der SAW-Vorrichtungen durch Kompensationsmittel elektrisch beseitigt, welche zumindest eine zweite Signalleitung mit Mitteln zum Erzeugen eines Aufhebungssignals, das im Vorzeichen oder in der Phase vom Parasitärsignal verschieden ist, oder eine Nebenschlussleitung zum elektrischen Verbinden des SAW-Wandlers mit einer rückseitigen Metallisierung des SAW-Chips umfassen.

A Nonlinear FEM Model to Calculate Third-Order Harmonic and Intermodulation in TC-SAW Devices
(2018)

Nonlinearities in Temperature Compensated SAW (TC-SAW) devices in the 2 GHz range are investigated using a nonlinear finite element model by simultaneously considering both third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD3)and third harmonic (H3). In the employed perturbation approach, different contributions to the total H3, the direct and indirect contribution, are discussed. H3 and IMD3 measurements were fitted simultaneously using scaling factors for SiO 2 film and Cu electrode nonlinear material tensors in TC-SAW devices. We employ a P-Matrix simulation as intermediate step: Firstly, measurement and nonlinear P-Matrix calculations for finite devices are compared and coefficients of the P-Matrix simulation are determined. The nonlinear tensor data of the different materials involved in periodic nonlinear finite element method (FEM) computations are optimized to fit periodic P-Matrix calculations by introducing scaling factors. Thus, the contribution of different materials to the nonlinear behavior of TC-SAW devices is obtained and the role of materials is discussed.

In this work a set of nonlinear coupled COM equations at interacting frequencies is derived on the basis of nonlinear electro-elasticity. The formalism is presented with the aim of describing intermodulation distortion of third-order (IMD3) and triple beat. The resulting COM equations are translated to the P-matrix formalism, where care is taken to obtain the correct frequency dependence. The scheme depends on two frequency-independent constants for an effective third-order nonlinearity. One of these two constants is negligibly small in the systems considered here. The P-matrix approach is applied to single filters and duplexers on LiTaO 3 (YXl)/42° operating in different frequency ranges. Both IMD3 and triple beat show good agreement with measurement.

The growing complexity in RF front-ends, which support carrier aggregation and a growing number of frequency bands, leads to tightened nonlinearity requirements in all sub-components. The generation of third order intermodulation products (IMD3) are typical problems caused by the non-linearity of SAW devices. In the present work, we investigate temperature compensating (TC) SAW devices on Lithium Niobate-rot128YX. An accurate FEM simulation model [1] is employed, which allows to better understand the origin of nonlinearities in such acoustic devices.

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.

In a recent paper it has been shown that the effective nonlinear constant which is used in a P-Matrix approach to describe third-order intermodulation (IMD3) in surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices can be obtained from finite element (FEM) calculations of a periodic cell using nonlinear tensor data [1]. In this paper we extend this FEM calculation and show that the IMD3 of an infinite periodic array of electrodes on a piezoelectric substrate can be directly simulated in the sagittal plane. This direct approach opens the way for a FEM based simulation of nonlinearities for finite and generalized structures avoiding the simplifications of phenomenological approaches.

This work focuses on the dependencies between typical design parameters of surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators and the nonlinear emitted signals of second and third order. The parameters metalization ratio and pitch are used as examples, but the approach can be extended to other design parameters as well. It is shown, that the interaction between the nonlinear current generation and the linear admittance is defining the measured nonlinear power signals. It is also discussed, that changes in linear properties get more pronounced in nonlinear responses. Therefore, slight effects on linear parameters will have significant influence on the observed nonlinearity.

Increasing power density causes increased self-generation of harmonics and intermodulation. As this leads to violations of the strict linearity requirements, especially for carrier aggregation (CA), the nonlinearity must be considered in the design process of RF devices. This raises the demand of accurate simulation models. Linear and nonlinear P-Matrix/COM models are used during the design due to their fast simulation times and accurate results. However, the finite element method (FEM) is useful to get a deeper insight in the device's nonlinearities, as the total field distributions can be visualized. The FE method requires complete sets of material tensors, which are unknown for most relevant materials in nonlinear micro-acoustics. In this work, we perform nonlinear FEM simulations, which allow the calculation of nonlinear field distributions of a lithium tantalate based layered SAW system up to third order. We aim at achieving good correspondence to measured data and determine the contributions of each material layer to the nonlinear signals. Therefore, we use approximations circumventing the issue of limited higher order tensor data. Experimental data for the third order nonlinearity is shown to validate the presented approach.

In the present work, nonlinearities in temperature compensating (TC) SAW devices are investigated. The materials used are LiNbO₃-rot128YX as the substrate and Copper electrodes covered with a SiO₂-layer as the compensating layer. In order to understand the role of these materials for the nonlinearities in such acoustic devices, a FEM simulation model in combination with a perturbation approach is applied. The nonlinear tensor data of the different materials involved in TC-SAW devices have been taken from literature, but were partially modified to fit experimental data by introducing scaling factors. An effective nonlinearity constant is determined by comparison of nonlinear P-matrix simulations to IMD3 measurements of test filters. By employing these constants in nonlinear periodic P-matrix simulations a direct comparison to nonlinear periodic FEM-simulations yields the scaling factors for the material used. Thus, the contribution of different materials to the nonlinear behavior of TC-SAW devices is obtained and the role of metal electrodes is discussed in detail.

Laser ultrasound was used to determine dispersion curves of surface acoustic waves on a Si (001) surface covered by AlScN films with a scandium content between 0 and 41%. By including off-symmetry directions for wavevectors, all five independent elastic constants of the film were extracted from the measurements. Results for their dependence on the Sc content are presented and compared to corresponding data in the literature, obtained by alternative experimental methods or by ab-initio calculations.

A simple model is introduced that describes the interaction of surface acoustic waves (SAWs) with a 2D periodic array of objects on the surface that give rise to internal resonances. Such objects may be high-aspect ratio structures like micro-pillars fabricated of a material different from that of the substrate. The model allows for an approximate determination of the band structure for the acoustic modes in such systems. Results are presented for the dependence on structural parameters of a total bandgap in the non-radiative regime of a semi-infinite substrate, and it is shown how the frequency and radiation damping of vibrational modes can be determined that are associated with defects in the periodic 2D array.

The laser ultrasound (LU) technique has been used to determine dispersion curves for surface acoustic waves (SAW) propagating in AlScN/Al2O3 systems. Polar and non-polar Al0.77Sc0.23N thin films were prepared by magnetron sputter epitaxy on Al2O3 substrates and coated with a metal layer. SAW dispersion curves have been measured for various propagation directions on the surface. This is easily achieved in LU measurements since no additional surface structures need to be fabricated, which would be required if elastic properties are determined with the help of SAW resonators. Variation of the propagation direction allows for efficient use of the system’s anisotropy when extracting information on elastic properties. This helps to overcome the complexity caused by a large number of elastic constants in the film material. An analysis of the sensitivity of the SAW phase velocities (with respect to the elastic moduli and their dependence on SAW propagation direction) reveals that the non-polar AlScN films are particularly well suited for the extraction of elastic film properties. Good agreement is found between experiment and theoretical predictions, validating LU as a non-destructive and fast technique for the determination of elastic constants of piezoelectric thin films.

Propagation of acoustic waves is considered in a system consisting of two stiff quarter-spaces connected by a planar soft layer. The two quarter-spaces and the layer form a half-space with a planar surface. In a numerical study, surface waves have been found and analyzed in this system with displacements that are localized not only at the surface, but also in the soft layer. In addition to the semi-analytical finite element method, an alternative approach based on an expansion of the displacement field in a double series of Laguerre functions and Legendre polynomials has been applied.
It is shown that a number of branches of the mode spectrum can be interpreted and remarkably well described by perturbation theory, where the zero-order modes are the wedge waves guided at a rectangular edge of the stiff quarter-spaces or waves guided at the edge of a soft plate with rigid surfaces.
For elastic moduli and densities corresponding to the material combination PMMA–silicone–PMMA, at least one of the branches in the dispersion relation of surface waves trapped in the soft layer exhibits a zero-group velocity point.
Potential applications of these 1D guided surface waves in non-destructive evaluation are discussed.

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 Ah-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 Al2O3was 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.