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Irradiation-induced Degradation of Surface Acoustic Wave Devices Fabricated on Bulk AlN...

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IEEE Transactions on Device and Materials Reliability
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1 to 1

Here, recent work to evaluate the prospects for surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices fabricated on bulk aluminum nitride (AlN) for elevated temperature and radiation environments is reported and discussed. The design and fabrication of an array of SAW devices using commercial wafers is described, including the non-standard fabrication approach taken to overcome the stress-induced warpage of the 50 mm diameter AlN substrates. Radio frequency performance characterization of the SAW devices, with resonance frequencies ranging from 0.5 GHz to 1.5 GHz, is described. The linear temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) near room temperature was measured and is compared to theoretical results from other investigators. The effects of 8 MeV Al ion irradiation at 300∘C and 500∘C to damage levels of 0.01, 0.1 and 1 displacements per atom (dpa), as a proxy for neutron irradiation, was investigated. The ion irradiation damage was observed to decrease the SAW resonant frequency, and this effect is characterized and discussed. Significant degradation in the conductivity of the Ti/Al electrodes of the SAW devices was also observed and characterized. These experimental results provide a basis for further investigation of the prospects for development of SAW sensor devices in bulk AlN material for application in elevated temperature and radiation environments.