With the rapid commercialization of fifth generation (5G) technology in the world, the market demand for radio frequency (RF) filters continues to grow. Acoustic wave technology has been attracting great attention as one of the effective solutions for achieving high-performance RF filter operations while offering low cost and small device size. Compared with surface acoustic wave (SAW) resonators, bulk acoustic wave (BAW) resonators have more potential in fabricating high- quality RF filters because of their lower insertion loss and better selectivity in the middle and high frequency bands above 2.5 GHz. Here, we provide a comprehensive review about BAW resonator researches, including materials, structure designs, and characteristics. The basic principles and details of recently proposed BAW resonators are carefully investigated. The materials of poly-crystalline aluminum nitride (AlN), single crystal AlN, doped AlN, and electrode are also analyzed and compared. Common approaches to enhance the performance of BAW resonators, suppression of spurious mode, low temperature sensitivity, and tuning ability are introduced with discussions and suggestions for further improvement. Finally, by looking into the challenges of high frequency, wide bandwidth, miniaturization, and high power level, we provide clues to specific materials, structure designs, and RF integration technologies for BAW resonators.
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