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Epitaxial Growth of Sc0.09Al0.91N and Sc0.18Al0.82N Thin Films on Sapphire Substrates by Magnetron Sputtering for Surface Acoustic Waves Applications

1
Institut Jean Lamour, UMR 7198 Université de Lorraine–CNRS, 54000 Nancy, France
2
National University of Science and Technology “MISIS”, 119049 Moscow, Russia
3
Laboratoire Matériaux Optiques, Photonique et Systèmes (LMOPS), Université de Lorraine–CentraleSupélec, 57070 Metz, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(16), 4630; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20164630
Received: 20 June 2020 / Revised: 27 July 2020 / Accepted: 4 August 2020 / Published: 17 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors)
Scandium aluminum nitride (ScxAl1-xN) films are currently intensively studied for surface acoustic waves (SAW) filters and sensors applications, because of the excellent tradeoff they present between high SAW velocity, large piezoelectric properties and wide bandgap for the intermediate compositions with an Sc content between 10 and 20%. In this paper, the growth of Sc0.09Al0.91N and Sc0.18Al0.82N films on sapphire substrates by sputtering method is investigated. The plasma parameters were optimized, according to the film composition, in order to obtain highly-oriented films. X-ray diffraction rocking-curve measurements show a full width at half maximum below 1.5°. Moreover, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy investigations reveal the epitaxial nature of the growth. Electrical characterizations of the Sc0.09Al0.91N/sapphire-based SAW devices show three identified modes. Numerical investigations demonstrate that the intermediate compositions between 10 and 20% of scandium allow for the achievement of SAW devices with an electromechanical coupling coefficient up to 2%, provided the film is combined with electrodes constituted by a metal with a high density. View Full-Text
Keywords: ScAlN thin films; sputtering; hetero-epitaxial films; SAW sensors ScAlN thin films; sputtering; hetero-epitaxial films; SAW sensors
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Bartoli, F.; Streque, J.; Ghanbaja, J.; Pigeat, P.; Boulet, P.; Hage-Ali, S.; Naumenko, N.; Redjaïmia, A.; Aubert, T.; Elmazria, O. Epitaxial Growth of Sc0.09Al0.91N and Sc0.18Al0.82N Thin Films on Sapphire Substrates by Magnetron Sputtering for Surface Acoustic Waves Applications. Sensors 2020, 20, 4630.

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