Characterization of the surface acoustic wave devices based on ZnO/nanocrystalline diamond structures


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Nanocrystalline ZnO films with strong (0002) texture and fine grains were deposited onto ultra-nanocrystalline diamond (UNCD) layers on silicon using high target utilization sputtering technology. The unique characteristic of this sputtering technique allows room temperature growth of smooth ZnO films with a low roughness and low stress at high growth rates. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices were fabricated on ZnO/UNCD structure and exhibited good transmission signals with a low insertion loss and a strong side-lobe suppression for the Rayleigh mode SAW. Based on the optimization of the layered structure of the SAW device, a good performance with a coupling coefficient of 5.2% has been realized, promising for improving the microfluidic efficiency in droplet transportation comparing with that of the ZnO/Si SAW device. An optimized temperature coefficient of frequency of −23.4 ppm °C−1 was obtained for the SAW devices with the 2.72 µm-thick ZnO and 1.1 µm-thick UNCD film. Significant thermal effect due to the acoustic heating has been redcued which is related to the temperature stability of the ZnO/UNCD SAW device.