A highly efficient and reproducible cleaning procedure of piezoelectric substrates is essential in surface acoustic waves (SAW) technology to fabricate high-quality SAW devices, especially for new applications such SAW sensors wherein new materials for piezoelectric substrates and interdigital transducers are used. Therefore, the development and critical evaluation of cleaning procedures for each material system that is under consideration becomes crucial. Contaminants like particles or the presence of organic/inorganic material on the substrate can dramatically influence and alter the properties of the thin film substrate composite, such as wettability, film adhesion, film texture, and so on. In this article, focus is given to different cleaning processes like SC-1 and SC-2, UV-ozone treatment, as well as cleaning by first-contact polymer Opticlean, which are applied for removal of contaminants from the piezoelectric substrate Ca
. By means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the presence of the most critical contaminants such as carbon, sodium, and iron removed through different cleaning procedures were studied and significant differences were observed between the outcomes of these procedures. Based on these results, a two-step cleaning process, combining SC-1 at a reduced temperature at 30
C instead of 80
C and a subsequent UV-ozone cleaning directly prior to deposition of the metallization, is suggested to achieve the lowest residual contamination level.
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