AlN/GaN/Sapphire heterostructure for high-temperature packageless acoustic wave devices

Abstract : — Surface acoustic waves (SAW) technology is very promising to achieve wireless sensors able to operate in high temperature environments up to possibly 1000°C. However, there is currently a bottleneck related to the packaging of such sensors. The current high-temperature packaging solutions can withstand 600°C at most. This limitation could be overtaken by the development of packageless devices, based on the waveguiding layer acoustic waves (WLAW) principle. In such devices, the acoustic wave is confined inside an inner layer and is then isolated from undesired surface perturbations like dust deposition. In this paper, we investigate the performance of an AlN/IDT/GaN/Sapphire WLAW device used as a temperature sensor able to operate up to 500°C. After validating a room-temperature GaN material constant set with basic SAW measurements performed on IDT/GaN/Sapphire structure, the AlN/IDT/GaN/Sapphire device is simulated to determine the optimal relative thicknesses of AlN and GaN films in order to obtain a good wave confinement. Based on these calculations, an experimental WLAW device is performed and electrically characterized. The full wave confinement is experimentally confirmed by the lamination of an acoustic absorber on top of the device: no change in the scattering parameters was observed. The WLAW device is then electrically characterized between the ambient temperature and 500°C. A temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) value of-34.6 ppm/°C is obtained, demonstrating the potential of the WLAW AlN/IDT/GaN/Sapphire structure as a packageless temperature sensor. Finally, the theoretical TCF of the AlN/IDT/GaN/Sapphire structure was numerically calculated by changing the material constants of AlN, GaN and Sapphire according to the temperature coefficients available in the literature. The theoretical and experimental data were found in good accordance.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 2:01:58 PM
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F. Bartoli, Thierry Aubert, Mohammed Moutaouekkil, Jérémy Streque, Philippe Pigeat, et al.. AlN/GaN/Sapphire heterostructure for high-temperature packageless acoustic wave devices. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical , Elsevier, 2018, 283, pp.9-16. ⟨10.1016/j.sna.2018.08.011⟩. ⟨hal-01868387⟩

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